Checking Out: Blackstone Sells Off Remaining Hilton Shares

MCLEAN, VA—The Blackstone Group L.P. is selling its remaining shares of common stock in Hilton—15.8 million of them valued at about $1.3 billion—in privately negotiated transactions pursuant to Hilton’s effective shelf registration statement.

As a result of the sell-off, Blackstone will earn a profit of approximately $14 billion, a tripled return on its initial investment. Hilton did not offer any shares of common stock in the transaction and will not receive any proceeds from the sale of shares by the selling stockholders. However, the brand plans to buy back 1.2 million shares owned by the U.S. private equity firm.

The transaction ends an 11-year relationship, which began in 2007 when Blackstone took Hilton private in a deal worth $26 billion, and later went public in 2013.

Blackstone had been gradually selling its shares, with a 25% equity interest sold to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group in 2016, establishing a long-term strategic investment in Hilton and Hilton’s planned spin-offs of Park Hotels & Resorts and Hilton Grand Vacations. In 2018, an indebted HNA sold its shares of Hilton Grand Vacations for $1.1 billion to repay mounting debt.