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In brief: Red Lion Hotels adopts takeover defense

Red Lion Hotels Corp. has adopted a shareholder rights plan that will make a hostile takeover of the Spokane-based hospitality more difficult.

Owners of Red Lion stock as of Feb. 2 will receive one right for each share. The rights will become exercisable if anyone with an intent to buy Red Lion acquires 20 percent of the outstanding shares, or tenders an offer for 20 percent of shares.

The rights could be exchanged for Red Lion shares. How many will depend on the price of the stock at the time the rights are exercised.

The plan will remain in effect two years unless the company amends the duration.

In a news release, Red Lion said similar takeover defenses have been taken by other hospitality firms, which are suffering from a downturn in travel and construction that had added to an oversupply of rooms.

Red Lion spurned a private buyout offer last year.

Shares closed Thursday at $2.42, off 3 cents on the day, and far below the 12-month peak of $9.83.


City chosen for preservation forum

Spokane has been chosen as the site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s 2012 conference.

The event, called the National Preservation Conference, is expected to draw 2,000 attendees, according to the National Trust, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that seeks to preserve historic buildings.

Referring to Spokane as “the Pasadena of the North,” the group said in a news release it chose the city because of its historic buildings, neighborhoods and gardens, and because it’s home to the largest National Register district in the state.

Richard Moe, president of the National Trust, said in the release, “conference attendees are sure to be impressed by the city’s vibrant downtown, strong preservation ethic and innovative adaptive re-use of buildings.”

New York

Bank of America exec resigns

John Thain resigned under pressure from Bank of America on Thursday after reports he rushed out billions of dollars in bonuses to Merrill Lynch employees in his final days as CEO there, while the brokerage was suffering huge losses and just before Bank of America took it over.

The bonuses were paid before Bank of America’s acquisition of Merrill became final on Jan. 1, and while Bank of America was privately telling the government that Merrill was losing so much money that the deal might fall through unless it could get more federal bailout money.

Bank of America later received an additional $20 billion from the government, in part to offset the unexpected Merrill losses.

From staff and wire reports

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