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Hilton Pays Out Huge for Its Private Equity Owner

Hilton turned into a winning lottery ticket for its private equity owner, raising a record $2.35 billion for the hotel chain. Hilton Worldwide Holdings sold 117.6 million shares for $20 each on Wednesday evening and saw an eager reception today from investors for an initial public offering that surpassed the much-discussed Twitter launch of last month.

Blackstone Group, which bought the company in October 2007, booked a paper profit of $8.5 billion from the IPO, based on the $6.5 billion that the firm and its partners have invested in Hilton, as Bloomberg News reported. That makes the Hilton investment the second-best returning play for a private equity firm, surpassed only by the $10.1 billion that Apollo Global Management booked last year from its sale of LyondellBasell Industries, according to Bloomberg data. At $22 per share, Hilton would become the top-returning private equity investment.