Hilton Worldwide CEO: Looking at possible REIT

CEO Christopher Nassetta said Monday Hilton Worldwide is seriously considering spinning off its $13 billion in properties into a real estate investment trust.

"If that is the way to maximize the value of the company for all of the shareholders, then we're going to want to do it," Nassetta said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street."

"We are very actively looking at the options right now and how we might do that."

Nassetta said the company might come to a decision by the second half of the year. He spoke to CNBC from the annual NYU International Hospitality Investment Conference this week.

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The Hilton Worldwide portfolio includes luxury names like the Conrad and Waldorf Astoria, as well as lower to mid-scale brands like the Hampton Inn.

Nassetta said the company will start returning capital shareholders in the form of a dividend later this year. However, share buybacks won't be considered until next year.

"The fundamentals in the business are great. From a Hilton point of view, we are outperforming our competition on a same-store business and we have an amazing development story."

Four Seasons

Also at the conference, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts' CEO said his top priority is the quality of growth.

"We need to be in the most important markets for our guests, in the most important buildings and with the best partners," Allen Smith told CNBC.

Eights years ago Bill Gates and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal took the company private for $3.8 billion. About 18 months ago they hired Smith to lead the company.

Smith said the company is not looking to acquire assets of rival Starwood, which is in the midst of a strategic review.

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