Aug 09, 2013

    Hilton selects banks to lead initial public offering

    BLACKSTONE Group has selected banks to lead an initial public offering of Hilton Worldwide 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 of the hotel operator is expected to come in the first half of next year, two of the sources said.

    Hilton has selected Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Group, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley to lead the deal, the three sources said.

    Hilton, Blackstone, Deutsche Bank, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.

    Hilton's return to the stock market could come at an opportune time. A recovery in demand for hotel rooms, coupled with little new supply, has led to a boom in the hotel industry, according to Mr Lukas Hartwich, a hotel analyst at Green Street Advisors.

    "We are kind of entering new territory. The story has been driven by pretty strong demand growth - not as robust as prior recoveries - and very low supply growth and that has worked out well for hotel operators," he said.

    Blackstone took Hilton private in 2007 in a US$26.7-billion deal that was one of the largest leveraged buyouts that preceded the 2008 global financial crisis.

    Founded in 1919 by Conrad Hilton, the company's brands include Conrad, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Home2Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, and Hilton Grand Vacations.