Hilton Worldwide, the world's largest hotel operator, raised roughly $2.34 billion in its IPO on Wednesday after pricing shares toward the high end of its range.
Backed by private equity and real estate firm Blackstone Group, Hilton priced its shares at $20. The company and existing shareholders sold 117.6 million shares. They had offered 112.8 million shares at an expected range of $18 to $21.
The Blackstone funds that bought Hilton are not selling any shares in the offering. Hilton Worldwide shares will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, under the ticker symbol "HLT.''
Blackstone took Hilton private in 2007 for $26.7 billion, including debt, in one of the largest leveraged buyouts before the 2008 global financial crisis.
The U.S. hotel industry has been recovering, with room rates and occupancy levels expected to increase in 2014, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. The Dow Jones U.S. Hotels index has risen nearly 30 percent so far this year.
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Blackstone's IPO plans for Hilton come as private equity firms sell or list assets to take advantage of a surging IPO market that has been spurred by a market rally and low interest rates.
Hyatt Hotels raised about $950 million in 2009 in what was then the largest hotel IPO.