LONDON (AP) _ Shares of Hilton Group PLC were up 5 percent in trading Thursday amid reports the company was poised to be acquired for $5.5 billion by Hilton Hotels Corp. in the United States.
The London-based company had no comment on the deal, which was reported by The Wall Street Journal in its Thursday editions. The paper, citing people close to the talks, said a deal was likely to be announced Thursday.
Regardless, shares of the company rose 5 percent to 369.5 pence in trading on the London Stock Exchange.
If such a deal is announced, it would mark the first time in more than four decades that the two Hilton brands were part of one company.
Beverly Hills, California-based Hilton Hotels operates more than 2,300 hotels that it owns, manages or franchises. Hilton Group owns the rights to the Hilton brand outside the U.S. and operates more than 400 hotels under the Hilton, Conrad and Scandic name in 80 countries.
It also owns betting shop Ladbrokes, with has some 2,000 shops in Belgium, Ireland and the United Kingdom.