Blackstone to buy Hilton Hotels for $26 billion
Hilton Hotels Corp has become the object of the biggest hotel acquisition in history as the US investment firm Blackstone Group LP agreed to buy the chain for $26 billion.
Hilton Hotels Corp made the announcement Tuesday, saying Blackstone Group LP agreed to pay $47.50 per Hilton share, 32% more than the stock's Tuesday closing price. With nearly 2,800 hotels in 80 countries, Hilton, which was founded in 1919, is one of the world's largest hotel chains. Besides the Hilton Hotels, the company also owns and operates the Conrad Hotels and Resorts, Doubletree Clubs and Hotels, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inns and the Waldorf-Astoria Collection. It employs 150,000 people and recorded sales last year of $8.2 billion and profits of $572 million, up 24% from the year before. Blackstone is one of the world's largest private investment firms and last month listed on the New York Stock Exchange, raising $4.13 billion in the floating of a 13.2% stake of the company.
Its deal to buy Hilton comes at a time when private equity firms are closing larger and larger takeovers and bringing in record amounts of capital. Blackstone is one of the most active US real estate investors and already controls more than 100,000 hotel rooms in the United States and Europe, owning such chains as La Quinta Inns and Suites and the LXR Luxury Resorts and Hotels. Hilton's board has already approved the deal, but its must still get the green light from shareholders and regulators.
The deal was expected to be completed in the Q4, said Hilton, which is based in Beverly Hills, California. (monstersandcritics.com)
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