Blackstone gets Hilton hotels ready for billion-dollar float
Accountants prepare books for quick sale – in London or New York – but only when the time is right
Sunday 20 March 2011
Private-equity giant Blackstone is finessing the accounts for its Hilton Worldwide hotels empire in preparation for an eventual flotation in New York or London.
Accountants are understood to be poring over the books to bring them up to international financial reporting standards, a prerequisite for listing on the world's major exchanges.
There is not thought to be a timetable for the flotation, but Blackstone executives are keen that Hilton be fully prepared to move quickly when they decide the time and markets are right for a share sale.
A source close to the two groups said: "This is a long process of preparation. The focus is getting the timing right, so that if you wake up one morning and decide to go for it you can."
Blackstone appears to have settled on listing the whole business as its eventual exit. Previously, the US-based buy-out group was thought to be considering a range of options, including listing on different exchanges along geographical lines. However, Hilton is believed to have successfully integrated its two distinct businesses since Blackstone snapped up the hotels in a $26bn deal almost four years ago. In 2006, the Hilton brands were reunited after a 42-year separation. The US-focused Hilton Hotels Corporation snaffled the 400 hotels of the UK-based Hilton Group in a $3.3bn deal.
At the top of the market a year later, Blackstone stunned investors with its own deal for the combined group. Blackstone raised $21bn of loans, shortly before the banks essentially shut up shop as the credit crunch struck.
"They've integrated it all now," said a leisure-industry source. "Blackstone will more than get out their equity and they would be remiss in their fiduciary duties if they were not ready to list quickly if they decided to sell the shares."
Despite the development, Blackstone and Hilton have often stressed that a listing is not imminent. Earlier this month, Hilton's chief executive, Chris Nassetta, said that a listing was "something we will consider at some point", but that there was no "rush".
The decision, though, will be that of its parent. Hilton is instead focused on opening hotels in Europe, Latin America and Asia to add to its 3,600-strong chain, which includes the Waldorf Astoria and Embassy Suites brands.
- 1 BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Budget 2015: George Osborne to axe subsidies for higher income earners in social housing
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
iJobs Money & Business
£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...
£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....
£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...