As private equity firms rush to cash in on their investments, the Blackstone Group is moving to sell one of the biggest companies to go private in recent years. Hilton Worldwide, the hotel giant that Blackstone bought six years ago, has begun preparations for an initial public offering (IPO), people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday. That includes hiring four banks – Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley – to start the process. An offering for Hilton, whose more than 4,000 properties are as diverse as Hampton Hotels and the Waldorf-Astoria in Midtown Manhattan, would probably be in the first half of next year, one of these people said.
Private equity firms have been eager to sell their companies, either outright or through an IPO, to take advantage of booming stock markets and generate realized profits for themselves and their limited partners.
Blackstone, the world’s largest buyout firm, also is working on an IPO for its La Quinta hotel chain, a person with knowledge of the matter said earlier this week. Blackstone hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to explore a sale or IPO of La Quinta, the person said.