Hilton IPO brings in US$2.35bn, outperforms Twitter

AP, NEW YORK

Fri, Dec 13, 2013 - Page 15

Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc is back, and in a big way.

The hotelier, which went private in 2007, on Wednesday priced its initial public offering (IPO) at US$20 per share. The company and a shareholder are selling 117.6 million shares, about 5 million more than originally planned, for a total take of US$2.35 billion.

The payoff surpasses the US$2.1 billion generated by Twitter Inc’s initial public offering last month. If the banks involved buy the extra shares in the deal — the overallotment — it will be the second-biggest IPO of the year, behind Plains GP Holdings LP at US$2.9 billion.

Hilton is the world’s largest hotel group, with 665,667 rooms across 90 countries and territories. It traces its roots back to 1919 and claims it was the site for a number of historical events, including John Lennon’s penning of one of his most popular songs in New York and the creation of the pina colada in Puerto Rico.

The Hilton IPO is also the largest hotel initial public offering ever, according to Morningstar analyst Chad Mollman.

The offering would give Hilton a total market value of US$19.7 billion. That tops rivals Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, each with market capitalizations of US$13.8 billion as of the close of trading on Wednesday.

Last year, Hilton had US$9.3 billion in revenue and posted a profit of $359 million.

The company was bought out by the Blackstone Group in 2007 for US$25 billion. Blackstone plans to retain a 76.2 percent controlling stake in the firm after the IPO.

The stock was to open for trading yesterday under “HLT” on the New York Stock Exchange.