OAK BROOK, IL-Inland American Real Estate Trust Inc., based here, is considering the purchase of a 22-hotel portfolio from RLJ Cos., headed by Robert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television and owner of the Charlotte Bobcats and Charlotte Sting professional basketball teams. Inland American looks to buy the portfolio from the Bethesda, MD-based RLJ Cos. for $920 million, of which $460 million would be paid in cash, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Representatives from Inland American declined to be interviewed. Representatives from RLJ Cos. did not respond to a request for an interview.

Inland and RLJ entered into the agreement on Aug. 12, according to the filing. The portfolio consists of 22 hotels with a total of 4,061 rooms. The portfolio includes the Marriott Chicago, a 113-room hotel constructed in 1988 at 625 S. Ashland Ave. in the Illinois Medical District. The portfolio also includes hotels in New Jersey, Maryland, Texas, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Massachusetts, Arizona, New York and Washington, DC. The oldest hotel in the portfolio is the 179-room Hilton Garden Inn Burlington, in Burlington, MA, which was constructed in 1971 and the newest constructed hotel is the 158-room Hyatt Place Medford, in Medford, MA, which was constructed in 2003.

While Inland is considering the acquisition, the sale does not appear to be set in stone. Inland has until Oct. 15 to terminate the agreement. If Inland backs out of the acquisition, it will forfeit $500,000 of a $10 million escrow deposit, according to the SEC filing. Inland can request to extend the deadline to Oct. 29 and would forfeit a total of $750,000 if it backed out of the deal by that date. “In light of the recent volatility in the financial markets generally, and the commercial lending market in particular, there is no assurance that the company will be able to secure commitments or agreements for new borrowings or to leave existing debt in place on terms and conditions acceptable to the company, if at all. Thus, there is no assurance that the company will complete this transaction,” the Inland filing states.

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