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Blackstone Preparing IPO for Hilton Hotels

According to the New York Times Dealbook, The Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX) is planning an initial public offering for famed hotel chain, Hilton.

Blackstone has hired Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE: BAC) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) to take on the process. The IPO would likely happen sometime in the first half of 2014, according to Dealbook, for the company with more than 4,000 properties around the world.

Blackstone purchased Hilton in 2007 for $26 billion in one of the last of the large-scale leveraged buyouts before the start of the recession. Soon after its purchase, the hotel fell victim to a recession that caused travel to grind to a halt. The hotel’s market cap fell by billions of dollars.

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As the economy recovered, so has the hotel. In Blackstone’s second quarter earnings conference call, it mentioned that Hilton has seen a 17 percent rise in pro forma earnings for the first half of 2013.

In the second quarter, Blackstone IPOed SeaWorld Entertainment (NYSE: SEAS) and engaged in a secondary offering for media company Nielsen Holdings. It was preparing a potential IPO for La Quinta–a much smaller hotel chain than Hilton.

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Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the company mentioned.

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