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Last published at August 5, 2009 at 5:07 PM

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Hyatt Hotels registers for public offering

Hotel and resort operator Hyatt Hotels Corp. said Wednesday it has filed a registration statement with the SEC proposing an initial public offering of its shares.


Hotel and resort operator Hyatt Hotels Corp. said Wednesday it has filed a registration statement with the SEC proposing an initial public offering of its shares.

In a regulatory filing, Chicago-based Hyatt valued the offering at a maximum $1.15 billion for the purposes of calculating its registration fee. Hyatt did not give a date for the proposed IPO.

The company is owned by the Pritzker family, which also holds a minority stake in industrial conglomerate Marmon Holdings Inc. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. acquired a majority interest in March 2008.

Hyatt owns, operates, manages and franchises 413 Hyatt-branded proterties, including the Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Hyatt Regency and Grand Hyatt chains, among others, in 45 countries.

Hyatt did not say how many shares of Class A common stock would be offered, nor did it offer a price range for the shares, saying those details have yet to be determined. The company said it will use proceeds from the offering for acquisitions and investments in new properties, as well as general corporate purposes.

For the six months ended June 30, Hyatt reported a loss from continuing operations of $36 million compared with profit of $173 million in the same period last year. The company's revenue fell 18.5 percent year-over-year to $1.64 billion.

The hotel industry has faced sinking profits as businesses cut back on corporate travel and high unemployment hits American consumers. Marriott International Inc. said last month that its profit fell 76 percent in the second quarter and offered a cautious outlook for the year.

Hyatt was founded in 1957 by Jay Pritzker. It was taken public in 1962, and was taken private again by the Pritzker family business interests in 1979 and 1982.

In 2007, a private investment firm linked to Wal-Mart Stores Inc. chairman Rob Walton, Madrone Capital Partners, and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.'s investment arm invested $1 billion in the company. Goldman currently owns 7.5 percent of the company's common stock, the filing said, and Madrone owns 6.1 percent. The Pritzker family owns 85 percent.

The company changed its name from Global Hyatt Corp. in July.

Goldman Sachs & Co. will be the lead bookrunning manager, and Deutsche Bank Securities and JPMorgan Securities will also underwrite the deal.

In the filing, Hyatt said the Pritzker family's business interests will continue to control the election of directors and other matters submitted to stockholders for approval after the offering. The future public company would not pay dividends on common stock in the foreseeable future.

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