Hilton to Spin Off Real Estate, Timeshare Businesses
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Two months after the Wall Street Journal reported Hilton Worldwide was exploring plans to spin off some of its hotel properties into a real estate investment trust, the McLean, Virginia-based company confirmed Friday that it intends to spin off about 70 properties into a real estate investment trust.
Hilton, which paired the announcements with its fourth quarter and full year 2015 results, also announced it intends to spin off its timeshare business into a separate company.
Hilton sought approval from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to spin off the properties late last year.
The plan, aimed at improving shareholder value, will see Hilton spin off dozens of upscale properties around the world into a publicly traded real estate investment trust.
Hilton's timeshare business, Hilton Grand Vacations will also become a separate publicly traded company. Hilton anticipates that the separate company will manage roughly 50 club resorts in the U.S. and Europe.
Because real estate investment trusts typically pay fewer corporate taxes and trade at higher multiples of their earnings compared to their parent companies, Hilton stands to benefit from the spinoffs.
But with the practice becoming more common, the IRS is considering new regulations aimed at restricting similar deals.
Hilton said it expects to complete both of the spinoffs by the end of 2016 but the transactions are subject to a variety of conditions, including final approval from the company's board of directors.
However the transactions will not require a shareholder vote.
The company currently owns or leases nearly 150 hotels around the world valued at more than $10 billion, according to analyst estimates per the Journal.
Hilton said additional details of the planned transcations, financial and otherwise, will be made available once it files registration statements with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
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