The Blackstone Group, a private equity firm, is making the necessary preparations for a flotation of Hilton Worldwide hotels, according to reports in The Independent.
Blackstone purchased Hilton Hotels for $26 billion in 2007, shortly before the credit crunch, with associated debt obligations worth $21 billion.
Hilton makes up part of Blackstone’s significant portfolio of hotel and resort properties that include more than 100,000 hotel rooms in Europe and the United States.
A flotation of its Hilton empire would facilitate debt repayments for the Blackstone Group, although an imminent sale has been denied by Hilton Worldwide’s chief executive, Chris Nassetta.
Nassetta told Reuters in a recent interview that Hilton was not rushing to go public but was instead concentrating on its expansion plans into fast growing markets.
“(An initial public offering) is certainly something we will consider at some point,” he commented. “But we’re not in a rush to do an IPO.”
But ultimately the decision would be up to its parent company, Blackstone.
Hilton has announced plans for new hotel openings in Europe, Latin America and Asia to add to its 3,600-strong chain.
The US Hilton hotels were reunited with the international properties after more than 40 years in 2006, when US-based Hilton Hotels Corporation purchased the hotels division of UK-based Hilton Group, which had acquired Hilton’s International operations in 1987