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Hilton Hotels Had A Unique Arrangement

June 4, 2012

The name Hilton is readily associated with hotels. This has been an enduring brand name which goes back over 90 years ago. While to the average traveler it may be the same hotel chain many events have happened inside it particularly its ownership.

The company started in 1919 when Conrad Hilton bought a hotel in Cisco, Texas in 1919. Business is doing well and Hilton buys other hotels in the Texas area.  He had far greater ambitions than just doing business in Texas. In 1943 the company enters New York City with the purchase of the Plaza and Roosevelt hotels. This pioneering hospitality company became the first hotel group spanning both the East and West coast. This helps to solidify the brand name.

Conrad Hilton was willing to pay a high price to continue the growth of his hotel chain and in 1954 he paid a staggering price of $111 million to purchase the Statler Hotel.  It was then the largest real estate transaction to take place.

In 1964 the Hilton company is split in two. Hilton International operating outside of the U.S. was headed by Conrad Hilton. Hilton Hotels Corporation doing business inside the U.S. was headed by his son Barron.

Hilton International then experienced various ownership changes. First it was owned by Trans World Corp. in 1967. Then it was sold to UAL Corp in 1986. Then in 1987 it was sold to a British leisure and gambling company. This company named itself Hilton Group plc.

The British group and the domestic Hilton Hotels Corporation forged on a unique arrangement. Both their hotel groups would maintain the same logo, same brand name, and help market and promote each other and have joint reservation systems. This would prevent customer confusion.  It is also an acknowledgement of the power of the Hilton brand.

In 2005 Hilton Hotels Corporation re-acquired Hilton International from the British group, for $5.71 billion. Once again all Hilton hotels were under one owner. Then less than a year later Hilton Hotel Corp. was bought out by The Blackstone Group for $25 billion including all its dept.

It is now known as Hilton Worldwide. The company owns other hotels and brands like Waldorf Astoria Hotels and Resorts and Doubletree, trying to capture different market segments.  Throughout its many ownership changes the company had its key strength in its brand name, Hilton.

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