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Private Equity Ambition Springs to Life as Hilton IPO Becomes Formal

Jon C. Ogg

Back in early August we suggested that the reported Hilton initial public offering would be very important to the IPO market. After all, this was one of the top ten largest private equity buyouts of all time. Now that IPO is being formalized, as Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. has filed its paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The filing is rather large at up to $1.25 billion worth of common stock. We would advise our readers that this IPO could end up being much larger than the filing suggests. The Blackstone Group L.P. (BX) purchased the company for roughly $20 billion. Technically, the price was much higher at about $26.9 billion, if you count the debt.

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Deutsche Bank Securities, Goldman Sachs, BofA/Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley have all been listed as the joint book-running managers for the offering. The formal number of shares that will be offered for sale and the proposed price range have not yet been determined.

Hilton Worldwide's SEC filing shows that it has 4,041 hotels, resorts and timeshare properties, comprising 665,667 rooms in 90 countries. Its flagship brand is the full-service Hilton Hotels & Resorts, and other brands include Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts and Conrad Hotels & Resorts; DoubleTree by Hilton and Embassy Suites Hotels; Hilton Garden Inn; Hampton Inn; Homewood Suites by Hilton; Home2 Suites by Hilton; and Hilton Grand Vacations.

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The filing said:

We own or lease interests in 157 hotels, many of which are located in global gateway cities, including iconic properties such as The Waldorf=Astoria New York, the Hilton Hawaiian Village, and the London Hilton on Park Lane. More than 300,000 team members proudly serve in our properties and corporate offices around the world, and we have approximately 38 million members in our award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors.

Blackstone is the primary key here, and we would estimate that it could take two or even three years for them to fully exit this ownership.


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