July 2, 2008 in Business

Red Lion will assess sale options

By The Spokesman-Review

Red Lion Hotels Corp. has retained an investment banking firm to meet with a potential buyer.

Chief Financial Officer Tony Dombrowik said Red Lion has a long-standing relationship with JMP Securities, which underwrote its last common stock offering.

JMP, he said, will be the go-between with Columbia Pacific Investment Fund, which Friday offered $9.50 per share for Red Lion. Seattle-based Columbia Pacific owns 2.3 million Red Lion shares, or 12.7 percent of the company.

Including the shares it already owns, the offer values Red Lion at $173 million. Red Lion in April rebuffed a tentative Columbia Pacific bid for the company.

Dombrowik said Red Lion is willing to give Columbia Pacific access to non-public information about its operations, but not exclusively.

“That’s not what they want, but that’s what we’ll give them,” he said.

Red Lion management and JMP will assess all options for the company, including another buyer, he said.

Red Lion shares closed Tuesday at $7.96, down one cent on the day.

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