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ATLANTA-Lodgian Inc., one of the largest hotel operators in the United States, has obtained $80 million in new funding and is bringing 18 additional properties out of Chapter 11 status. New York-based Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. is underwriting the loan. Lodgian operates hotels with Holiday Inn, Marriott, Hilton and Crowne Plaza flags.

At the same time, the locally based firm says W. Thomas Parrington, a Lodgian director and former CEO of Washington, DC-based Interstate Hotels Co., is the interim CEO, taking over from David E. Hawthorne who has resigned to pursue other business interests.

“My role was to restructure the company’s finances and operations,” Hawthorne says in a statement. “We have successfully completed that process, and the company has the plan and people in place to effectively move forward.” Hawthorne is also resigning as a company director.

Lodgian emerged from Chapter 11 with 78 hotels on Nov. 25, 2002. The 18 hotels are owned by Lodgian subsidiaries Impac Hotels II LLC and Impac Hotels III LLC. When the two subsidiaries filed for protection under the United States Bankruptcy Code on Dec. 5, 2001, Lodgian listed assets of $1 million and debt of $968.7 million.

The $80 million is being used to settle an outstanding loan for the two subsidiaries. The financing is a two-year term loan with an optional one-year extension at a rate of LIBOR, plus 525 basis points but not less than a floor of 7.25% interest, according to the company’s statement.

Lodgian expects to settle the final claims against the subsidiaries by the third quarter. In January, other hotels were returned to a lender to settle outstanding loans. One hotel was returned to the lessor of a capital lease. The plan of reorganization for the remaining 18 Impac hotels was approved April 24 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Merrill Lynch Mortgage Lending Inc. is providing a $309 million credit facility to Lodgian, as GlobeSt.com reported Dec. 3, 2002. While in court-approved debtor-in-possession status, Lodgian was operating its 105 hotels in 32 states and Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

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