NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Blackstone Group (BX)-owned Hilton Worldwide will seek to raise up to $2.4 billion in an initial public offering, after the company was able to use fast growth in its franchised hotels to overcome a $26 billion 2007 private equity buyout that piled billions in debt on the company's books just as the global economy fell into a sharp contraction.
Hilton Worldwide's IPO, which could come as early as this week, will be a major story to follow in the rebounding hotel industry. The share offering could also give investors a glimpse into a significant, but unheralded turnaround orchestrated by Hilton and its owners after the company's buyout, which many in the media have used as an example of the peak of a pre-crisis private equity bubble.
According to an amended S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Hilton Worldwide currently estimates it will offer its shares at a range of $18 to $21 a share. Hilton Worldwide will offer over 64 million shares in the IPO, with one selling stockholder offering an additional 48.7 million shares, putting overall IPO proceeds at roughly $2.4 billion assuming the high-point of Hilton's price range.
The company plans to use IPO proceeds to pay down some of its $7.5 billion in outstanding term loan borrowings, the leftover debt from Blackstone's leveraged buyout. Blackstone Group will remain Hilton's majority owners after the share offering with a 76.2% economic interest in the company, according to S-1 documents.
Hilton Worldwide will list on the New York Stock Exchange NYX under the ticker symbol "HLT."