In recent years the private equity giant Blackstone Group has made significant investments in the hotel and commercial real estate industries by buying and taking private several large publicly-traded corporations.
Blackstone's latest purchase is the Hilton Hotels Corp for about $US26 billion .
Under the terms of the agreement, Blackstone will acquire all the outstanding common stock of Hilton for $US47.50 dollars a share.
The price represents a premium of 40 per cent over Monday's closing stock price.
Hilton Hotels stock closed up 6.44 per cent yesterday on the New York Stock Exchange at $US36.05.
Hilton's board of directors approved the transaction. It would be completed sometime during the fourth quarter of 2007, subject to the approval of Hilton's shareholders, the corporation said in a statement.
The proposed transaction "will deliver substantial value creation for our shareholders. In addition, a majority of the equity will be owned by Canadians", Blackstone chairman Richard Currie said.
Hilton is a company that took 40 years to be reunited as a single entity, following the $6bn merger of Hilton Hotels Corporation with its UK sister, Hilton Inter- national in 2005.
For the family of Conrad Hilton, the deal represents the culmination of a hotel empire growth story that has lasted nearly 90 years.
Blackstone's step into the public limelight marked a sea change for an industry that had closely guarded its secrecy. Blackstone was previously a wholly private partnership and as such under US laws not subject to the same scrutiny as public corporations.
Blackstone's IPO launch and the deal with Hilton Hotels mark a heady year for Blackstone.