Three Richmond-based real estate investment trust companies (REITs) are being merged into one, creating one of the largest REITs in the U.S. with 188 hotels and 23,490 rooms across the country. The deal to merge Apple REIT Seven Inc., Apple REIT Eight Inc. and Apple REIT Nine Inc. was approved at special meetings last week and closed over the weekend. The completion of the mergers remains subject to approval. The hotels in the REIT operate mostly under the Marriott and Hilton brands. The Apple Seven portfolio, is made up of 48 hotels with a total of 6,205 rooms in 18 states. Apple Eight has 51 hotels with a total of 5,914 rooms in 19 states. Apple Nine owns 89 hotels with a total of 11,371 rooms in 27 states. Following the completion of these transactions, the combined company’s name was changed to Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc. Read more at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.