Hilton prepares for public offering

24 September 2013

Hilton Worldwide has filed to raise $1.25 billion in an initial public offering. The stock market launch could become the largest ever in the hotel industry if it exceeds Hyatt's 2009 $1.09-billion offering.

The Blackstone Group will hold on to almost $7 billion of equity tied up in the company, with the money being used to pay down Hilton's large debt burden.

The hotel group is being advised by Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. The four banks, together with JPMorgan Chase, are also understood to be working on a refinancing of Hilton's $13.5-billion debt mountain before the proposed initial public offering.

Although Hilton has expanded significantly since the buyout - mainly through the development of its mid-market and budget brands overseas - and cut its debt, analysts had been suggesting as recently as last year that its value had fallen below $20 billion.

Under Chris Nassetta's stewardship, the company has expanded its hotel portfolio by more than a third; it now stands at just over 4,000 properties in 90 countries.

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