Blackstone to sell shares in Hilton hotels

Michael Bow
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PRIVATE equity and property giant Blackstone yesterday said it would cut its stake in Hilton Worldwide in the wake of its landmark flotation of the group last year.

The group, led by Steve Schwarzman, generated the largest ever paper profit from a private equity deal with its Hilton listing in the US last year.

Blackstone will sell 90m shares in the group to reduce its holding fro m 65.9 per cent to 56.8 per cent, according to a regulatory filing released yesterday.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank will handle the share sale.

At the time of the listing, Blackstone decided not to sell any of its shares and instead chose to sell them over the next three and five years.

Since that time, Hilton shares have risen 26 per cent – seemingly justifying Blackstone’s decision to hold onto shares for the period.

The group bought Hilton in 2007 for $19.7bn (£10.5bn), using about $5.7bn of equity in the deal.

It took this to $6.5bn in 2010 after injecting a further $819m as part of a debt restructuring.

Shares in Hilton fell yesterday 1.74 per cent yesterday.

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