The company ceased trading on the New York stock exchange in 2007 when it was bought by Blackstone for $26b, including $6b debt, in what was the hotel industry's largest private equity buyout.
It has since expanded by more than 1,000 hotels to the 4,000-strong portfolio it is today, across more than 90 countries countries. The company, which has nearly 120 properties in the UK, operates hotels under 10 brands including Waldorf Astoria, Hilton Hotels and Resorts, Doubletree by Hilton, Hampton by Hilton and Hilton Garden Inn.
Headed by chief executive Christopher Nassetta, with headquarters in McLean, Virginia, near Washington DC, the company is believed to have appointed Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley to oversee the flotation, early next year. The UK arm of the business is head by Simon Vincent, who is Hilton Worldwide's area president of Europe, Middle East and Africa.
It is unknown what the value of Hilton Worldwide is or what proportion of it Blackstone will want to sell.
With Blackstone acquiring the company just prior to the economic downturn, the owner quickly oversaw a fall in its investment. However, this has improved through a debt restructure and recent improvements to occupancy and room rates.
The Hilton Worldwide name came about after the United States-based Hilton Hotels Corporation reacquired the overseas rights to the brand when it bought Hilton International for £3.3b from the UK-based Hilton Group, now renamed as Ladbrokes.
A spokesperson for Hilton Worldwide declined to comment on what he described as "rumour and speculation". The story regarding the potential stock market floatation was broken yesterday by the Wall Street Journal.
Blackstone completes Hilton Hotels Corporation takeover >>
Hilton International sold to US cousin for £3.3b >>