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Blackstone swoops for Hilton hotel chain

The private equity firm Blackstone has announced it is buying the Hilton hotel chain for a price of $26 billion (£13 billion).

The group, which currently owns Orbitz, Galileo and 100,000 hotel rooms across Europe and the US, says it has plans to expand the chain.

Already Hilton Hotels owns 480,000 rooms in 2,800 properties across 76 countries.

Brands that are owned by the group include Conrad, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn and the Waldorf Astoria Collection.

Hilton co-chairman and CEO Stephen Bollenbach said: "We are delighted that a company with the resources and reputation of Blackstone fully appreciates the value inherent in our global presence, strong brands and unique portfolio of hotel properties."

The Hilton chain was opened in 1919 by Conrad Hilton, the great-grandfather of Paris Hilton, the US celebrity socialite who was last week released from a California jail after serving a sentence for drink driving.

Today's deal has been clinched just two years after Hilton merged with its British sister company, Hilton Group PLC.

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