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Highland Hotel Chain Owner Explores Bankruptcy Filing, WSJ Says

A real-estate investment firm led by Joseph E. Robert Jr. is looking at a possible bankruptcy filing for Highland Hospitality Corp., the Wall Street Journal said, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.

Financial difficulties at the hotel chain have led to “maneuvering for control” of Highland between Robert’s JER Partners private equity firm and creditors including Wells Fargo & Co., Barclays Plc, Prudential Financial Inc. and Ashford Hospitality Trust, the newspaper said. JER Partners bought Highland for about $2.2 billion in 2007, the newspaper said.

Highland may avoid bankruptcy court if it satisfies creditors with more funds, and the company is in discussions with potential investors including Abu Dhabi Investment Authority about an injection of at least $200 million, according to the report.

JER Partners, Highland’s creditors and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority all declined to comment, the newspaper said.

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