Private equity giant Blackstone Group, who owns Travelport, is to buy Hilton Hotels corporation in a deal worth $26 billion (19 billion euros). It is one of the largest takeovers ever and creates one of the largest hotel groups.Blackstone will acquire all the common stock of Hilton in an all cash buyout for $47.50 per share. The transaction will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2007. When completed, the merger will be one of the ten largest by an private equity fund.
Blackstone will invest in Hilton properties and brands globally to enhance and grow the business for the benefit of owners, franchisees and customers, Hilton 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,” said Hilton co-chairman and chief executive officer Stephen Bollenbach.
“We are delighted that a company with the resources and reputation of Blackstone fully appreciates the value inherent in our global presence,” he added.
Blackstone already has a substantial portfolio of hotel properties including more than 100,000 hotel rooms in the U.S. and Europe. Its properties include La Quinta Inns and LXR Luxury Resorts and Hotels.
Hilton’s brands 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. Hilton runs 2,800 hotels worldwide.
Investors have been attracted to Hilton’s substantial property portfolio, according to analysts.