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Hilton Worldwide Holdings shares open at $21.30 in IPO

An exterior shot of the Hilton Midtown is seen in this file photo taken in New York June 7, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files
An exterior shot of the Hilton Midtown is seen in this file photo taken in New York June 7, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files

(Reuters) - Shares of Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc , the world's largest hotel operator, rose 7 percent in their New York Stock Exchange debut on Thursday.

The shares opened at $21.30 after Blackstone Group LP raised more than $2.3 billion in the year's second-biggest IPO.

The shares were priced at $20 Wednesday night, within the expected range of $18 to $21. Hilton and existing shareholders sold 117.6 million shares in the IPO.

Blackstone took Hilton private in 2007 for $26.7 billion, including debt, in one of the largest leveraged buyouts before the 2008 global financial crisis.

Founded in 1919 by Conrad Hilton, Hilton's brands include such high-end names as Conrad and Waldorf Astoria.

Hilton, which operates in 90 countries, has more than 4,000 hotels and 670,000 rooms under its umbrella.

The company itself owns or leases 157 hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

Deutsche Bank AG , Goldman Sachs , Bank of America and Morgan Stanley led the IPO.

(Reporting by Olivia Oran; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and John Wallace)

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