La Quinta Corp. and La Quinta Properties Inc., both of Dallas, have announced a merger agreement under which they would be acquired by an affiliate of The Blackstone Group in a transaction valued at approximately $3.4 billion.The cash purchase price of $11.25 per paired share represents a 37% premium over the Nov. 8 closing price of $8.22 per share, said La Quinta, an owner and operator of limited-service hotels. Morgan Stanley acted as La Quinta's financial adviser, and Bear Stearns, Deutsche Bank, and Merrill Lynch were financial advisers to Blackstone, which has offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and several other cities. The companies can be found on the Web at http://www.lq.com and http://www.blackstone.com.

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