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RALEIGH, NC-Winston Hotels, Inc. has received an unsolicited offer from Inland American Real Estate Trust, Inc., topping a previous offer from Wilbur Acquisition Holding Co. The bid was submitted by Inland Capital Markets Group.

Two weeks ago, Wilbur Acquisitions and Winston Hotel entered into a merger agreement stating Wilbur would purchase all outstanding shares of the locally based hospitality company for $14.10 per share. However, Inland has now thrown a $15-per-share bid on the table. Reports put Inland’s total bid at $457.5 million, and Wilbur’s bid at $430.1 million.

Winston’s board of directors and an independent special committee of the board are now evaluating the offer, but company officials stress that there is no assurance the company will enter into a definitive agreement with the Oak Brook, IL-based Inland American Real Estate Trust. Winston is not commenting on the new bid at this time.

On Feb. 21, Winston and Wilbur revealed a merger agreement, unanimously approved by Winston’s board of directors. At the time, Winston put the closing date in the second quarter of this year, subject to stockholder approval and other customary closing conditions. “After careful consideration, we believe this transaction represents an attractive value to our shareholders,” CEO Robert W. Winston III said at the time.His statement was backed up by Joseph V. Green, president and CFO. “The company has gained significant momentum over the last several years with substantial upgrades to our portfolio and improvement in our operating results,” he added. “This transaction validates those effects. We believe that the timing is right to monetize the value the company has created for its shareholders.”

As of Dec. 31, Winston Hotels owned or was invested in 53 hotel assets, with a total of 7,205 rooms. Its holdings span 18 states.

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