Red Lion adds exec of former suitor

SATURDAY, NOV. 14, 2009

New board seat goes to Emeritus’ Brandstrom

An executive linked to a company that last year tried to buy Red Lion Hotels Corp. has been named to a new seat on the Spokane company’s board of directors.

Raymond Brandstrom is a director, executive vice president for finance, and chief financial officer of Emeritus Corp., which owns, leases or manages 309 retirement communities and centers that provide assisted-living services, or care for patients with Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.

The chairman of Emeritus is Daniel Bray, a principal of Columbia Pacific Opportunity Fund L.P., which owns more than 18 percent of the Red Lion shares outstanding.

In June 2008, the fund offered $9.50 per share for the Red Lion shares it did not own. The hotel operator would have been taken private if the bid had been accepted.

Red Lion entered into a confidentiality agreement with Columbia Pacific and other potential bidders, but nothing came of the original offer.

In January, Red Lion established a shareholder rights plan to defend itself against a hostile takeover, but the plan was subsequently terminated.

Red Lion Chairman Don Barbieri said Seattle-based Emeritus has been very successful, and Brandstrom will bring to Red Lion his expertise in real estate and finance. “His experience and unique perspective will be a great contribution,” he said.

Brandstrom will stand for election to the board at the annual shareholders meeting in May.

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