Hilton Worldwide looks to raise $2.4bn in share float

Hilton Pattaya
Image caption Hilton said it would use the proceeds of the share sale to pay off debt

Hilton Worldwide, one of the world's biggest hotel firms, plans to raise up to $2.4bn (£1.4bn) via a share sale.

In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the firm said it planned to sell 112.8 million shares for between $18 and $21 each in its initial public offering (IPO).

Hilton said it would use money raised from the flotation to pay down debt.

The share sale would mark Hilton's return to a public listing after being acquired by Blackstone Group in 2007.

Blackstone bought the hotel group for $26.7bn in October 2007, taking it private in one of largest buy-outs before the global financial crisis.

Hilton's hotel brands include Conrad, Waldorf Astoria, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Home2Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, and Hilton Grand Vacations.

Good timing?

Some analysts said investor interest in share sale was likely to be strong, not least because global markets are showing signs of recovery and helping to lift the travel industry.

"The Blackstone Group has timed the Hilton initial public offering at the perfect market inflection points of increasing global consumer travel demand, daily room rates, and occupancy," said Christopher Muller, a professor at Boston University's School of Hospitality Administration.

If Hilton's shares are priced above the middle of the $18-$21 range, the IPO could end up being one of the biggest listings in the US this year.

The firm said it intended to apply to list the shares on the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE, under the symbol HLT.

The company first filed for an IPO in September this year with the aim to raise up to $1.25bn (£790m).

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