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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Hilton Hotels to Boost Global Expansion

NEW YORK -- Hilton Hotels has signed deals with three real estate groups to develop more than 55 properties in Russia, Britain and parts of Central America, The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.

The report said the partners were projected to cover the full construction costs, estimated at $1.7 billion, as part of Hilton's plan to accelerate its drive to franchise new hotels and expand its brands outside the United States.

The newspaper cited president and chief operating officer Matthew Hart, who will become the hotel group's chief executive on Jan. 1, when current CEO Stephen Bollenbach retires. The move follows partnerships Hilton announced last year envisioning construction of as many as 100 new hotels throughout India and China, the newspaper said.

In Russia, Hilton said it linked up with a long-standing partner, closely held London & Regional Properties, which already owns marquee hotels in London and Frankfurt. The aim is to focus not only on Moscow and St. Petersburg, but to develop properties in large regional centers with few foreign hotels.

Hart was quoted as saying the latest ventures underscore Hilton's determination to pick partners with deep pockets and a strong track record of local development. "We want to roll these [projects] out as quickly as we can," he said, the newspaper reported.

In Britain and Ireland, the partner is Shiva Hotels, another closely held real estate firm. The third agreement, covering the Caribbean and Central America, calls for Caribbean Property Group, based in New York, to concentrate projects initially in population centers in Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Panama, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad, the newspaper said.