Hilton was after ITT for the upscale hotels, not ITT's casinos. After the failed bid for ITT, Hilton did comment that it will continue pusuing its strategy of an acquisition, but it said it wants gaming and lodding to have a 50/50 mix. With a CIR takeover, will this be 50/50? Don't think so.
Did you know that Hilton lost out to ITT in a bidding war for Caesar's?
ITT's "Luxury Collection" properties generate less in operating revenue (not to mention what they provide to ITT's bottom line) than it's New York properties alone, excluding the St. Regis. Bollenbach would not be going after the hotel segment most affected in economic swings. Prestige? Forget it. He's a numbers guy. The maintenance alone on the Italian component of CIGA's horrendous -- If Hilton were successful in it's bid for ITT, the Luxury Collection would've been the first on the chopping block to reduce debt!
Bollenbach will likely do at Hilton what was done at Marriott. Industry rumours suggest a split: either Hilton Mgmt/Hilton Real Estate or (and most likely) Hilton Hotels/Hilton Gaming.
So how does this end up on the CIR board? No one on these pages (especially the ones caught in any downdraft) seems to respect any of the analysts, and yes they ALL have vested interests. However, they care correct in predicting a consolidation in Gaming. Hilton and CIR are both players. Whether they end up in bed together remains to be seen, but if they do, it would be a nice combination.
Finally, bear in mind one rumour making the rounds is that HLT is discreetly approaching Starwood to see if they're interested in spinning off Caesar's. Yes, again. Sterlicht's interested.