Blackstone buying Hilton Hotels Corporation

Travel News Asia Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Hilton Hotels Corporation has entered into a definitive merger agreement with The Blackstone Groups real estate and corporate private equity funds in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately US$26 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Blackstone will acquire all the outstanding common stock of Hilton for US$47.50 per share. The price represents a premium of 40% over Mondays closing stock price.

Hiltons Board of Directors approved the transaction Tuesday and it is anticipated that the transaction will close during the fourth quarter of 2007; completion is subject to the approval of Hiltons shareholders, as well as other customary closing conditions.

Blackstone currently owns more than 100,000 hotel rooms in the U.S. and Europe, ranging from limited service properties such as La Quinta Inns and Suites to LXR Luxury Resorts and Hotels. The LXR collection includes such upscale properties as The Boulders Resort and Spa (Arizona), The El Conquistador Resort (Puerto Rico), The Boca Raton Resort and Club (Florida), The Golden Door Spa (San Diego), and The London NYC (New York). Blackstones holdings complement Hiltons family of brands, which include Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton, and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection.

Blackstone said that it intends to invest in the Hilton properties and brands globally to enhance and grow the business for the benefit of owners, franchisees and customers. Over the last fifteen years, Blackstone has been one of the largest private investors in hospitality worldwide and it has a strong track record of reinvesting in its hotel properties. Blackstone has invested approximately US$1 billion in redevelopment capital in its LXR properties over the last three years; it has also grown the La Quinta brand by approximately 45% since its acquisition in January 2006.

Stephen F. Bollenbach, Hiltons co-chairman and chief executive officer, said, Our priority has always been to maximize shareholder value. Our Board of Directors concluded that this transaction provides compelling value for our shareholders with a significant premium. We are delighted that a company with the resources and reputation of Blackstone fully appreciates the value inherent in our global presence, strong brands, industry leading marketing and technology programs, and unique portfolio of hotel properties.

Michael Chae, Senior Managing Director, Blackstone, said, Blackstones real estate and corporate private equity funds collaborated on the acquisition of Hilton, demonstrating Blackstones unique ability to undertake such a transaction. We look forward to working with Hiltons management team and employees to enhance the value of the company.

See other recent news regarding: Hilton Hotels, Hotels

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