Don't Bet On A Hilton Takeover

Is Hilton Hotels in play? A report by USA Today columnist Dan Dorfman that a group of unnamed buyers is eyeing the company fueled a 10% stock gain on Sept. 6. But cautious onlookers point to a history of false takeover starts, most notably a 1989 rumor frenzy that drove Hilton shares to $115. They later fell back to $26. The company, which denies it is in talks, is not apt to be sold soon. CEO Barron Hilton, who controls 24.5% mf the stock, will probably delay a sale until the lodging-industry recovery blossoms. He may also wait until 1996, when new casino operations are expected to add $150 million to Hilton's cash flow--boosting its market value to $100 a share, analysts say, from $64.

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