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DALLAS-Ashford Hospitality Trust has closed a $100-million warehouse credit line with UBS Real Estate Investments Inc., which replaced a $45.6-million mezzanine loan warehouse facility that was paid off earlier last month in anticipation of the new financing. The Dallas-based hotel REIT says the deal will result in a $1.1-million charge, or 2 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2005.”This new credit facility significantly enhances our hotel lending program,” Monty J. Bennett, president and chief executive officer of Ashford, says in a statement announcing the transaction. “With the lower cost, grid pricing and flexibility to finance first mortgage, junior and mezzanine loans, we will now be able to bid more competitively on new loan opportunities.” Bennett could not be reached for further comment by GlobeSt.com.In a statement, Bennett says the REIT has financed or refinanced almost $1 billion in debt during 2005, including the new facility. At the same time, Ashford has secured long-term, low-cost, fixed-rate financing with flexible terms which have helped to expand the REITs unencumbered asset base, reduced weighted averaged fixed cost of debt to 5.6% and fixed the rate on approximately 93% of the company’s non-revolving debt, among other things.The new facility is for a term of three years and bears interest with grid pricing in the range of 150 to 275 basis points over Libor, according to Bennett.

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