Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hilton deal ripples through industry

By Chris Woodyard, USA TODAY

Shares of hotel chains surged Thursday after Hilton Hotels announced a $26 billion sale to a private-equity group, but Hilton's CEO says his deal would be hard to duplicate.

In an interview, Hilton CEO Stephen Bollenbach said investment company acquisitions of other big hotel chains "would have similar advantages" to Blackstone Group's pending purchase of Hilton. "But these are very big deals," making them difficult to pull off, he said.

Late Tuesday, Beverly Hills-based Hilton announced it had agreed to sell itself to The Blackstone Group for $20 billion in cash and $6 billion in assumed debt.

Blackstone's offer of $47.50 a share marks a 32% premium over share prices before the deal became public. Complication and scope of other potential hotel deals, however, didn't deter investors Thursday from driving up the stock prices of Hilton's biggest hotel chain competitors.

Read more in the USA Today

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