Hilton increases IPO size to $2.4 billion

Hilton Worldwide is increasing the size of its public offering, with plans to raise as much as $2.4 billion when it goes public, the company announced Monday. That figure is nearly double Hilton’s original plans to raise up to $1.25 billion.

Shares of the McLean based hotel company are expected to be priced between $18 and $21 each, according to documents filed Monday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said it expects to sell 112.82 million shares.

Hilton and its financial team, including investment banks, already have begun a road show to promote the shares to prospective investors, including insurance companies, pension funds, foundations and mutual funds that would be likely to buy large blocks of the stock, according to individuals familiar with the impending IPO.

The company is expected to put its shares on the market in the next 10 days to two weeks, the individuals said.

“We expect market demand for those shares to be pretty robust,” said Richard Hightower, an analyst for ISI Group. The hotel industry “should be pretty healthy at least for the next three or four years, assuming continued economic recovery.”

The Hilton IPO, if successful, is expected to help pay off a portion of the Virginia company’s $13 billion in debt and go a long way toward justifying the $26 billion that the Blackstone Group paid for the iconic hotelier six years ago.

Abha Bhattarai covers local retail, hospitality and banking for The Washington Post. She has previously written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times.
Thomas Heath is a local business reporter and columnist, writing about entrepreneurs and various companies big and small in the Washington Metropolitan area. Previously, he wrote about the business of sports for The Post’s sports section for most of a decade.
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