Strategic Hotels extends shareholder rights plan

CHICAGO (AP) — Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. said Monday that it extended its existing shareholder rights plan by a year to protect the company from unwanted takeover attempts.

Strategic Hotels initially adopted the plan amid weak economic conditions in 2008 and hard times for the lodging sector. The Chicago-based real estate investment trust, which owns and provides asset management of high-end hotels and resorts, said its board extended it into next year because of lingering uncertainty in the economy.

Some companies can become tempting acquisition targets during tough economic times, as buyers look to purchase them at a low price and hope to benefit in the long-run when the economy improves. The possibility of a takeover can increase when there are other significant changes at a company.

Strategic Hotels announced last week that its long-time CEO Laurence Geller was stepping down and chairman Rip Gellein would become CEO. Geller will serve in an advisory role to Gellein until the end of the year.

Strategic Hotels shares fell 9 cents to close at $5.96.