At La Quinta, The Door Is Wide Open

When high-powered investors knock at the door, La Quinta Motor Inns apparently listens. The budget motel chain announced on Jan. 23 that it would consider the sale of the company. The move came after investment groups led by the billionaire Bass brothers and New Zealand financier Sir Ronald Brierley had amassed nearly 30% of the company's stock last year and challenged a La Quinta poison-pill takeover defense. Analysts suspect that a foreign buyer might swallow La Quinta for as much as $30 a share, or about $390 million.

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