Blackstone Books Hilton For $26B

Offer represents 40% premium; chain to stick to hotel management
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 3, 2007 8:38 PM CDT
The Hilton Hotel at Boston's Logan Airport is seen, Monday, April 30, 2007. Hilton Hotels Corp. said Monday that its first-quarter profit fell 9 percent on the cost of renovations at a New York property....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Blackstone moved to expand its hotel portfolio in a big way late today, making a deal to take Hilton private for $26 billion, including $7.5 billion in debt. The $47.50 per share offer, 40% more than yesterday's close, turned the head of the chain's CEO, who called it "such a compelling price," the Journal reports.

Blackstone owns LaQuinta and Wyndham parent LXR, but Hilton dwarfs those holdings with nearly 500,000 rooms in 2,800 properties. Its recent strategy has been to sell off real estate and concentrate on management. The chain has been in play since the domestic brand bought Hilton International last year, reuniting the company after 42 years, the Times of London reports.