Blackstone's Hilton looks to launch IPO week of December 2: sources

Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:52pm EDT

An exterior shot of the Hilton Midtown in New York June 7, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

An exterior shot of the Hilton Midtown in New York June 7, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Andrew Kelly

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(Reuters) - Hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Inc, owned by private equity firm Blackstone Group LP (BX.N), is aiming to launch its initial public offering the week of December 2, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The people cautioned that the timing of the float could change depending upon a regulatory review which is still in process. They asked not to be identified because the timing of the IPO is still confidential.

Blackstone declined to comment, while a Hilton representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Blackstone took Hilton private in 2007 in a $26.7 billion deal, which was one of the largest leveraged buyouts that preceded the 2008 global financial crisis. In September, Hilton filed for an IPO to raise $1.25 billion.

Blackstone is hoping the stock market will value Hilton at around $30 billion, sources previously told Reuters.

Founded in 1919 by Conrad Hilton, the hotel operator's brands include such high-end names as Conrad and Waldorf Astoria. Hilton has 4,041 hotels, or 665,667 rooms under its umbrella, located in 90 countries. The company itself owns or leases 157 hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

The IPO comes as Blackstone looks to exit several real estate investments. This week, shopping center unit Brixmor Property Group Inc (BRX.N) raised $825 million in an IPO.

Blackstone in July filed to take another hotel chain, Extended Stay America Inc, public, and the company said on Thursday it could be valued at as much as $4.2 billion.

It is also looking to sell or take public hotel chain La Quinta, potentially valuing it at up to $4.5 billion.

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE), Goldman Sachs (GS.N), BofA Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley (MS.N) are the lead underwriters on the Hilton offering.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran in New York; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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