Hilton to Be Acquired by Blackstone

On Tuesday, Hilton Hotels Corp. announced it had agreed to be acquired by the Blackstone Group for about $26 billion, or $47.50 per share, including assumption of debt. This share price is roughly a 40 percent mark up over Hilton's closing stock price of $33.87 on Monday. The deal, which already has been approved by Hilton's board of directors, is expected to close during the fourth quarter of 2007. "Our priority has always been to maximize shareholder value," Hilton CEO Stephen Bollenbach said in a release. "Our board of directors concluded that this transaction provides compelling value for our shareholders with a significant premium." In the last few years, Blackstone has made several acquisitions in the travel industry, including Wyndham International, La Quinta Inns and previous divisions of Orbitz, such as the Travelport travel management company and the Galileo global distribution system.

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