In 2007, The Blackstone Group (BX - Get Report) paid $26.9 billion for Hilton Hotels, paying $47.50 a share for the hotel giant. Blackstone paid a premium of 40% over the stock price at the time and financed the purchase with roughly $20.6 billion in debt. According to the Wall Street Journal, all of the banks that provided financing for the buyout also worked on Blackstone's 2007 initial public offering.
When the deal to buy Hilton was announced Jonathan Gray, a managing director at Blackstone, said in a press release that "It is hard to imagine a better strategic fit for us than Hilton." The buyout firm paid Hilton roughly 30 times earnings for its hotels, which include Hilton brands, Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and the Waldorf Astoria. In an interview with Reuters in 2011, Hilton Chief Executive Chris Nassetta said that an I.P.O., "is certainly something we will consider at some point," and added that ultimately it's up to Blackstone. Since the deal was done, Blackstone has renegotiated roughly $4 billion in Hilton related debt.