Hilton Files For IPO; Blackstone To Retain Controlling Interest - Business Travel News

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Hilton Files For IPO; Blackstone To Retain Controlling Interest

September 12, 2013 - 11:25 AM ET

By Michael B. Baker

Hilton Worldwide on Thursday filed for an initial public offering, a move that would take one of the world's largest hotel companies public about six years after the Blackstone Group acquired it for $26 billion.

In its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Hilton valued the IPO at $1.25 billion, though it noted that was merely an estimation in order to determine the registration fee. The number and price of shares to be offered is to be determined. Blackstone will own a majority of the voting power of shares after the IPO, according to the filing.

Since the 2007 acquisition, Hilton has added 170,000 rooms to its portfolio, tripled the number of luxury hotels in its portfolio and development pipeline and increased the non-U.S. room share of its development pipeline from less than 20 percent to more than 60 percent, according to the filing. Full-year net income for 2012 was $352 million, up from $253 million in 2011, and net income for the first half of this year was $189 million.

Hilton also reported that its revenue per available room has increased annually since 2010. For the first six months of this year, its average daily rate increased by 3.2 percent year over year to $136.43, and occupancy increased by 1.5 percentage points to 72.3 percent.

Another Blackstone hotel asset, Extended Stay America, filed for an IPO earlier this summer. The firm also reportedly is exploring a private sale or IPO for midprice chain La Quinta Inns & Suites, which it also owns.

With 4,041 properties totaling 665,667 rooms, Hilton is the third-largest hotel company in the world in terms of number of rooms and the fifth-largest in terms of number of hotels, according to the Business Travel News2013 Business Travel Survey. Its IPO would mean eight of the 10 largest hotel companies, measured by number of rooms, are publicly traded. Best Western, the eighth largest, remains private, as does the ninth largest, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, though the Rezidor Hotel Group itself is a public company.

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