Blackstone equity group buys Hilton Hotels

Hilton Hotels Corporation is being sold to US private equity group Blackstone who own Galileo, Gullivers and Orbitz in a cash deal worth £13bn. It is due to be completed by the end of 2007.

The group already owns 100,000 hotel rooms in the US and Europe and has pledged to expand Hilton, which has 480,000 rooms in 2,800 properties.

Under the deal, Blackstone is paying £23.67 for each Hilton Hotels Corporation share, a 32% premium over the closing price on Tuesday.

A statement from Blackstone, whose hotel brands include La Quinta, said the company intends to invest in the Hilton properties and brands globally “to enhance and grow the business”.

Blackstone’s senior managing director Jonathan Gray says: “It is hard to imagine a better strategic fit for us than Hilton. This transaction is about building the premier global hospitality business.”

Earlier this month Hilton International, acquired by Hilton Hotels Corporation last year, announced plans to implement a major shift toward online marketing with the axing of its worldwide directory and its replacement with a personalised e-brochure.

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