Tomorrow is the day that Hilton will begin trading publicly again after what has undeniably been quite a wild ride. The hotel chain was bought by Blackstone at the peak of real estate boom at an extremely rich multiple. For a long time the deal looked like it going to end up being disastrous but to Blackstone’s credit, the private equity firm installed an excellent management team that boosted profitability. Key to the acquisition’s success was the decision to use variable interest rate debt, which kept Hilton’s interest costs relatively low when REVPAR and occupancies were declining during the Great Recession. When Hilton’s debt declined in value on speculation that the leveraged company wouldn’t survive, Blackstone stepped up and bought the debt at a discount. Not many firms have the size, capacity and management to succeed with this type of acquisition, so Blackstone deserves a tremendous amount of credit.