RLJ Lodging shares slip in market debut on NYSE

AP News
Posted: May 11, 2011 12:53 PM
RLJ Lodging shares slip in market debut on NYSE

Shares of RLJ Lodging Trust fell Wednesday in their market debut after the hotel owner priced its initial public offering below its expected range.

The stock of the Bethesda, Md., company fell 68 cents, or 3.8 percent, to $17.32 in midday trading.

RLJ Lodging said Wednesday it priced 27.5 million shares at $18 apiece for a total of $495 million. The company had expected to price shares between $19 and $20 each.

Underwriters have a 30-day option to buy 4.125 million more shares to cover excess demand.

BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital and Wells Fargo Securities are the joint book-running managers for the offering. Deutsche Bank Securities and Goldman Sachs & Co. are senior co-managers with KeyBanc Capital Markets, Raymond James and RBC Capital Markets as co-managers.

The company plans to use the proceeds to pay down debt.

RLJ Lodging owns 140 hotels in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and plans to qualify as a real estate investment trust for tax reasons.

Its shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "RLJ."