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RLJ Lodging shares slip in market debut on NYSE

NEW YORK — Shares of RLJ Lodging Trust are falling in their market debut after the hotel owner priced its initial public offering below its expected range.

The stock of the Bethesda company fell 64 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $17.36 in morning trading.

RLJ Lodging said Wednesday it priced 27.5 million shares at $18 apiece for a total of $495 million. The company had expected to price shares between $19 and $20 each. Underwriters have a 30-day option to buy 4.125 million more shares to cover excess demand.

The company plans to use the proceeds to pay down debt.

RLJ Lodging owns 140 hotels in 19 states and Washington, D.C., and plans to qualify as a real estate investment trust.

Its shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “RLJ.”

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