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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hilton Worldwide raises over $2.3 billion in biggest-ever hotel IPO, (NYSE: BX)

Hotel operator Hilton Worldwide Inc raised $2.34 billion in its IPO on Wednesday, returning to the public markets some six years after Blackstone Group LP took it private in one of the largest deals of the leveraged takeover boom.Hilton, whose brands include such high-end names as Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, priced its shares at $20, within the expected range, and gave the world's largest hotel operator an equity value of $19.7 billion. The stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday under the ticker symbol "HLT."Blackstone took Hilton private in 2007 for $26.7 billion, including debt, at the height of the market. The financial crisis hit soon after, leaving the company facing a large debt pile due to the leveraged buyout and a recession that hit business. Blackstone refinanced about $13 billion of the hotel chain's debt before launching the IPO.It also plans to use the proceeds from the offering to repay $1.25 billion in debt.

The Blackstone Group L.P. (Blackstone) is a manager of private capital and provider of financial advisory services. Shares of BX fell by 0.21% or $-0.06/share to $29.15. In the past year, the shares have traded as low as $14.60 and as high as $29.48. On average, 4886430 shares of BX exchange hands on a given day and today's volume is recorded at 4831915.