Hilton Hotels Corp. has stepped up its global expansion plans by signing deals with three real estate groups to build over 55 hotels in Russia, Britain and Central America. Total construction costs are estimated at $1.7 billion; the projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2012. The deals follow agreements Hilton made last year to construct up to 100 new hotels in India and China. In Russia, the company will be working with London & Regional Properties Ltd., which owns hotels in London and Frankfurt. They plan to build up to 25 hotels not only in Moscow and St. Petersburg but also in large regional centers. (Hilton currently has only one hotel in Moscow.) Hilton plans to construct up to 15 locations in Britain and Ireland together with partner Shiva Hotels Ltd. In the Caribbean and Central America, Hilton will work with the Caribbean Property Group on projects in major metropolitan areas in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad.
Sources: Wall Street Journal, Times Online, Reuters
Commentary: Hilton's Hot and Here's Why • More Room For Hilton To Rise? • Consumer Slowdown? Retail Conference Calls Say Not Yet
Stocks/ETFs to watch: Hilton Hotels Corp. (HLT-OLD). Competitors: Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR), Intercontinental Hotels Group plc (NYSE:IHG), Choice Hotels International Inc. (NYSE:CHH). ETFs: Rydex S&P Equal Weight Consumer Discretionary (NYSEARCA:RCD), Vanguard Mid-Cap Growth ETF (NYSEARCA:VOT), PowerShares Dynamic Leisure & Entertainment (NYSEARCA:PEJ)
Conference call transcripts: Q1 2007
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