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ANDOVER, MA- Irving, TX-based LaQuinta Corp., acquired the three Massachusetts Tage Inns from locally based Tage Inn Corp. for $26 million in cash. The hotels included in the deal were the three-story, 181-room Tage Inn in Andover, MA, the five-story, 89-room Milford Tage Inn, and the seven-story, 148-room Somerville Tage Inn, which has been re-branded as LaQuinta Inn & Suites. The other hotels will be renovated and rebranded under the LaQuinta and Baymont flags.

The sale marks the chain’s first foray into the Greater Boston and New England hotel market. “We have a very strong base of guests that belong to our LaQuinta Returns Program, who travel frequently,” a spokesperson tells Globest.com. “Now these locations provide them with a place to stay in the Greater Boston area, and introduces the (LaQuinta) brand to people in the Northeast.”

With the acquisition of 89 Baymont Inns from the Marcus Corp. in September, LaQuinta is one of the largest owner/operators of limited service hotels in the US. The Tage Inn purchases increase the number of hotels flying under the LaQuinta flag to 567 in 40 states. The portfolio includes the 89 Baymont Inns, seven Woodfield Suites and one Budgetel.

“This acquisition is consistent with LaQuinta’s growth strategy to enter key strategic markets,” Francis W. Cash, chairman, president, and CEO of LaQuinta, says in a statement. “These high-quality hotels compliment our current portfolio and underscore LaQuinta’s commitment to increasing market share and brand presence by entering the Boston lodging market.”

The deal was brokered for Tage by Matthew Kenney, managing director of Pinnacle Realty Investments, who thinks both sides made out well. “It wasn’t on the market long,” he says. “It was a good deal economically for Tage, and strategically for LaQuinta.”

The sale also effectively ends Tage Inn Corp. as it is presently constructed, although they still hold the ground lease on the properties. In addition to the sale of its Massachusetts hotels, Tage has been bought out of its joint-venture interest in the Tage Inn at Manchester Airport, its lone New Hampshire property.

This does not mean that Joseph Tagliente, the firm’s president and CEO, is getting out of the real estate game altogether. “I’m not getting out of this business,” he tells GlobeSt.com. “I’m forming a private equity fund to make investments in real estate. I’m talking to some people now, but I’m not at liberty to say who.”

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