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Blackstone looks to begin exiting $26.7bn Hilton buyout through $1.25bn IPO

12 Sep 2013

Hilton hotelBlackstone Group-backed hotel giant Hilton Worldwide has filed to raise up to $1.25bn in an IPO as the private equity major looks to begin exiting one of the largest leveraged buyouts preceding the global financial crash.

The firm bought Hilton in a debt-heavy $26.7bn take-private deal in 2007, just in time for economies across the globe to begin falling into a years-long recession.

Last month Reuters reported the firm had hired Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and Morgan Stanley to run an IPO for the first half of 2014, citing three people with knowledge of the matter.

Blackstone took Hilton private in July 2007 for $26bn, with a whopping $20bn of that made up of bank debt and the remaining $6bn provided as equity from the private equity firm and its investors.

The firm managed to cut that debt by nearly $4bn through a restructuring in 2010, which also relaxed its maturity until November 2015.

Global financial trauma following the financial crisis hit the hotel industry hard, but a recovery appears to be under way if Hilton’s recent earnings are anything to go by.

The company’s EBITDA is forecast to be 58 per cent higher this year than in 2009 according to a presentation to Blackstone shareholders seen by Reuters.

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