Hilton may still be the world's most famous hospitality brand, but its parent company has been overtaken in both size and prestige by Marriott. It remains a substantial business, the #2 traditional global hotel operator by rooms. In addition to its core Hilton hotels business, the group operates a collection of other brands including Conrad Hotels & Resorts, LXR, Doubletree, Hampton, Embassy Suites and the renowned Waldorf Astoria group. By the end of 2019, the entire portfolio spanned 6,110 hotels spread across 119 countries, almost all run by independent franchisees, and 971,800 rooms. Upper midscale brand Hampton is the group's biggest by rooms with almost 270,000 accomodation units, followed by the main Hilton brand (216,000 rooms) and Doubletree (136,000 rooms). In early 2017, Hilton spun off its remaining hotel property and timeshare assets as two separate companies in order to focus exclusively on hotel management, franchise and booking operations, not least, the Hilton Honors loyalty program, now one of the world's biggest with more than 103m members. Company revenues for Hilton Worldwide in 2019 were $9.5bn with net income of $886m. Chris Nassetta is CEO. For more than 40 years from the mid 1960s, the US and international operations of the Hilton brand were controlled by two entirely separate companies. They were reunited in 2006, and the combined group was acquired the following by private equity fund Blackstone for around $26bn. Hilton went public once more at the end of 2013, and most of Blackstone's remaining shares were sold in 2016 to Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which became Hilton's biggest shareholder for two years. It sold its shares again in 2018. The business traces its roots back to 1919 when entrepreneur Conrad Hilton acquired his first, rather modest hotel in Texas. Others hotels followed but the first to carry the Hilton name opened in 1925 in Dallas. He went on to open or acquire a string of other properties, creating the world's biggest hotel business by the end of the 1940s. The international business was spun off as a separate company in 1964, and was later acquired by airline TWA. A string of different owners followed - including for UK betting company Ladbrokes - before Hilton International was reacquired by the main US-based Hilton Hotels Corporation in 2006.
Who handles Hilton's advertising? Find out more from the Adbrands Account Assignments database
Who are the competitors of Hilton Worldwide? see Travel, Hotels & Leisure Sector
Capsule checked 25th September 2020
Adbrands Account Assignments track account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets
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Who are the competitors of Hilton? See Travel & Leisure Index for other companies.
Who handles Hilton's advertising? Find out more from Adbrands Account Assignments
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Oct 2016: Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is to become the biggest shareholder in hotel giant Hilton with a deal to acquire a 25% stake from private equity firm Blackstone. That would reduce Blackstone's stake to around 21%. Most of the remaining shares are publicly traded. Earlier this year, HNA acquired Carlson Hotels, owners of the Radisson chain, and it also owns or has stakes in a variety of other hospitality or travel-related businesses, including airlines, baggage handlers and flight catering services.
Adbrands Weekly Update 5th Jun 2014: Hilton Worldwide announced the launch of a new brand to distinguish a new collection of four and five star boutique hotels in urban or resort locations. It plans to sign up several hundred independently run hotels, mainly in the US and Europe, under a new Hilton Curio banner. It's also planning a new lifestyle banner for later this year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Dec 2013: Hotel giant Hilton Worldwide went public for the first time since 2007, when it was acquired by private equity firm Blackstone in one of the biggest ever leveraged buyouts. The purchase price of $26bn included a whopping $20bn of debt, with which Hilton has been wrestling ever since. The IPO raised $2.35bn, a record for any hotel operator, and almost all of it will be used to pay down debt. Blackstone remains the controlling shareholder with around 76% of equity.
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