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JACKSONVILLE, FL-Equity Inns Inc. will increase its presence here to three properties with the pending purchase of two hotels totaling 159 rooms and suites from the MMI Hotel Group of Flowood, MS for $12.9 million or about $78,616 per door.

Equity Inns has contracted to acquire the 81-room Marriott Courtyard and the 78-suite Residence Inns by Marriott. MMI will manage the five-year-old properties with incentive-based management contracts for three years. The estimated value of the contracts was not disclosed. The deal is expected to close by the end of the first quarter 2005.

“Jacksonville is Florida’s fourth largest MSA market and has favorable long-term growth prospects,” Equity Inns president and chief operating officer Howard Silver says in a prepared statement. He says the transaction is expected to be closed at a cap rate of about 10.7% on a trailing 12-month cash flow basis. When the deal closes, Equity Inns will own 112 hotels.

The Tennessee-based REIT expects its funds from operations per share for its quarter ended Dec. 31 to be in the range of 16 cents to 18 cents on a fully diluted basis. Silver says those numbers compare to a previously expected range of 14 cents to 17 cents per diluted share. For the full year, the company now expects FFO of between 83 cents and 85 cents per diluted share and a net loss per diluted share between two cents and zero.

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