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BETHESDA, MD-Privately held RLJ Development, LLC has just closed its second private equity lodging fund with $743 million of commitments. The RLJ Lodging Fund II LP, also dubbed RLJ Fund II, has a total purchasing power of nearly $2.5 billion.

The RLJ Fund II, though, has been active investor even as RLJ Development continued to raise capital for the fund, acquiring a $1.7-billion, 100-hotel portfolio from Merrillville, IN-based White Lodging Services Corp. earlier this year. The deal was structured to close in three phases. They closed on a $1-billion leg in mid-June and sealed a $390-million transaction in early August. The remaining 13 hotels, for $300 million, are scheduled to close in one to 18 months.

Investors in RLJ Fund II include several major public and corporate pension funds, financial institutions and a hospitality entity, numbering 15 institutional investors all together, according to a company statement. RLJ Development was represented by Presidio Partners, a real estate investment bank with offices in San Francisco and Chicago.

RLJ Fund II’s strategy is acquire and develop premium-branded, upscale service hotels in urban and suburban major metro areas. “Our goal is to achieve superior risk-adjusted returns for our investors with a highly focused investment strategy,” Thomas J. Baltimore Jr., president of RLJ, says in a press release. “The lodging sector remains a very attractive industry with accelerating demand and limited supply growth expected in the next few years.” RLJ was unable to be reached for comment by deadline.

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