Blackstone has purchased the Hilton Hotels Corporation for USD 26 billion, paying a premium of nearly one-third over the company's closing share price. With the Hilton buyout, Blackstone now owns 2,800 hotels in 76 countries with nearly 500,000 rooms. In 2005, the Hilton brand's US and international operations were merged into a single company. Hilton employs over 100,000 workers worldwide.
The North American hotel workers' union UNITEHERE welcomed the acquisition, with union President Bruce Raynor stating that "This combination is good news for the workers of what will be the largest hotel owner in the world." UNITEHERE has a positive relationship with Hilton, and Blackstone, said Raynor, "had demonstrated its commitment to fair treatment for thousands of hotel workers in several major markets."