Blackstone Agrees To Sell Remaining Shares Of Hilton
Blackstone Group has announced its intention to end the most profitable private equity investment of all time.
The investment giant is selling all 15.8 million of its remaining shares in Hilton Worldwide Holdings, valued at $1.3B, Bloomberg reports. After purchasing the public company and making it private in 2007, Blackstone will finish up with $14B in profit when all is said and done.
Though it initially suffered greatly during the Great Recession, the Hilton investment has driven larger-than-expected revenue gains for Blackstone in the past couple of years, even as it sold shares to other groups and spun off certain real estate components. Through the recession, Blackstone wrote the value of Hilton down some 70% and restructured its debt, before taking the company public again in 2013. Since then, Hilton's stock value has doubled as it has dramatically increased its footprint worldwide and branched out with several new brands aimed at younger clientele.
In March 2017, Blackstone sold 25% of its stake in Hilton to Chinese investor HNA Group, which in turn sold that stake for $5B in profit after less than a year. HNA Group has been under pressure to pare back its foreign holdings by the Chinese government.
Jon Gray, who was head of real estate for Blackstone when the firm acquired Hilton Worldwide, was promoted to president in February. He told Bloomberg he will remain as chairman of Hilton even after the sale is complete.