RLJ REIT IPO expected this week on NYSE

BETHESDA, MARYLAND The newly formed hotel REIT from Robert L. Johnson is planning to debut this week on the New York Stock Exchange with a US$664 million initial public offering.

RLJ Lodging Trust comprises the hotel investments of RLJ Development and its two private equity funds, which own a combined 140 hotels with 20,400 guestrooms across 19 U.S. states. The portfolio is valued at nearly US$2 billion, according to The Washington Post.

If the IPO goes through as planned, it would make RLJ Lodging Trust one of the largest publicly traded hotel REITs. Proceeds from the IPO would be used to repay about US$502 million in secured debt and prepayment penalties, with the rest to be used as working capital.

RLJ primarily concentrates on premium select-service brands in urban and dense suburban markets. The company reported revenue of US$545.6 million for 2010, a 13.1% year-over-year increase on a pro forma basis.