JER Partners Acquisitions, a private equity investor, is acquiring McLean, Va.-based Highland Hospitality Corp. for a total of $2.0 billion.The acquisition price includes the payment of $19.50 per Highland share and operating partnership unit in cash, and the assumption of about $260 million of Highland debt, the real estate investment trust reported. This price -- for a portfolio that includes 27 hotel properties with a total of 8,379 rooms in 14 states -- represents a 15% premium over Highland's recent stock price, according to the hotel REIT. James L. Francis, Highland's president and chief executive officer, said he believes that the price "reflects the underlying value" of Highland's assets. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter. The lodging REIT can be found on the Web at http://www.highlandhospitality.com, and JER can be found at http://www.jer.com.

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