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Hilton Working On An IPO, Selects Lead Bankers

Skift Take

Blackstone is on a roll, trying to take advantage of the up cycle on hotel shares: first Extended Stay IPO, then news yesterday about La Quinta, and today, Hilton Hotels.

— Rafat Ali

Blackstone Group LP has selected banks to lead an initial public offering of Hilton Worldwide Inc as it prepares to bring one of the largest leveraged buyouts back to the stock market, three people familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

The IPO is expected to come in the first half of 2014, two of the people said.

Hilton has selected Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Bank of America Corp and Morgan Stanley to lead the deal, the three sources told Reuters.

Related reads:

Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Blackstone declined to comment. Hilton could not be immediately reached for comment.

Founded in 1919 by Conrad Hilton, Hilton owns 3,900 hotels in 90 countries under 10 different brands including Waldorf Astoria, Hilton, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites.

Blackstone took Hilton private in 2007 for $26.7 billion, in one of the largest leveraged buyouts that preceded the 2008 global financial crisis.

Once seen an example of the perils of buying large companies through excessive borrowing, Hilton was cited by Blackstone at its public investor day in May as a real estate investment that has seen “a substantial recovery in performance”.

Hilton’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization are forecast to be 58 percent higher in 2013 compared with 2009, according to a presentation to Blackstone shareholders.

As stock markets have improved, private equity firms have sought to sell portfolio companies acquired during the buyout boom of 2005 to 2008.

IPOs this year from private-equity backed companies include industrial and construction supplies company HD Supply Holdings Inc, child care operator Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc, cruise line operator Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd and communications technology company West Corp.

The Wall Street Journal reported on the appointment of banks for the Hilton IPO earlier on Wednesday.

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