Goldman Sachs’ (NYSE: GS) real estate fund, Whitehall, has agreed to acquire hotel owner Equity Inns, Inc. (NYSE: ENN) in a deal worth $1.27 billion, not including debt, the companies announced Thursday.

Equity Inns, a real-estate investment trust, owns more than 130 hotels, with brands which include Courtyard and Hilton Gardens.

Whitehall Street Global Real Estate LP 2007’s $23 per share in cash offer represents a premium of 19 percent over Equity Inn’s closing price on Wednesday. The debt included in the deal is over $900 million.

Equity Inns' strategy of aligning itself with the leading brands in the lodging industry has proven highly effective, said Jonathan Langer, managing director of Goldman Sachs' Real Estate Principal Investment Area.

Whitehall's acquisition of Equity Inns is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to shareholder approval and other closing conditions.