Blackstone ups Hilton IPO to new $2.4B record

Jonathan Gray and 1335 Sixth Avenue
Jonathan Gray and 1335 Sixth Avenue

Private equity firm Blackstone Group is closer to narrowing down exactly how much it plans to raise in Hilton Worldwide Holdings’ initial public offering. Its goal is up to $2.4 billion, a record for a hotel company.

Hilton and its shareholders intend to sell 112.8 million shares in the range of $18 and $21 apiece. The hotel chain will then sell 64.1 million of the total amount in an effort to pay back $1.25 billion in debt. Blackstone does not plan to sell any of its own stock in Hilton. The price of the IPO is slated to be set Dec. 12.

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Blackstone had said in September it would raise $1.25 billion in the Hilton IPO, then upped it to $2.25 billion last month. The IPO would surpass Twitter’s $2.1 billion offering last month, and beat Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s $1.09 billion public offering in 2009 for the title of largest lodging IPO. Bloomberg News first reported the news, citing a regulatory filing today.

Blackstone paid $18 billion for Hilton in 2007, and also assumed about $7 billion in existing debt, making the deal one of the largest leveraged buyouts at the time. Jonathan Gray, who runs the Blackstone Group’s real estate division, was the latest executive to reach billionaire status this year. [Bloomberg News]Mark Maurer