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Hilton Worldwide looks set to return to being a public company, according to reports.
The hotel company is currently owned by private equity firm Blackstone, which also controls GDS owner Travelport.
Blackstone has appointed a group of leading investment banks to work on a flotation of Hilton which is likely to take place in early 2014 on the New York Stock Exchange, according to reports in the Financial Times.
The private equity group purchased the Hilton Hotel Corporation for $26.9 billion in 2007, which was financed with $20.6 billion of debt.
This debt has reportedly been reduced to around $13 billion over the last few years, although analysts have suggested that Hilton may now be valued at below $20 billion.
Hilton has more than 3,500 hotels offering 575,000 rooms in 79 countries. The company’s brands include Hilton, Waldorf Astoria, Doubletree, Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Conrad and Homewood Suites.
Blackstone attempted to float technology firm Travelport on the London Stock Exchange in 2010 but had to shelve the plan due to “volatility and uncertainty” in the financial markets at the time.