Anbang Not Backing Down In Starwood Bidding War

by Jessica Montevago

Photo courtesy: Moore

In what’s becoming a tug-of-war over Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Chinese-based investors led by Anbang Insurance Group once again outbid Marriott International for control of the hotelier.

Starwood received a new $15 billion offer March 26 from a consortium of companies, reported the Associated Press. The move follows Starwood’s announcement last Monday it would accept Marriott’s higher offer for $14.4 billion.

Marriott initially bid $12.2 billion for the company in November, with hopes of creating the largest hotel chain in the world, operating more than 5,500 hotels and 1.1 million rooms worldwide. 

Marriott issued a statement, reaffirming its belief that the amended merger agreement is the best course for both companies, saying “the combined company will offer stockholders significant equity upside and greater long-term value driven by a larger global footprint, and a wider choice of brands for consumers.”

If Starwood ends the merger agreement, it will owe Marriott a $450 million termination fee.

Shareholders for both Marriott and Starwood are set to vote on April 8. Starwood said its Board of Directors has not changed its recommendation in support of Starwood's merger with Marriott. 

An Anbang-led purchase of Starwood would mark the largest takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese investor and give it a major presence in the hospitality industry in the United States.

The Beijing-based company last year purchased Manhattan’s landmark Waldorf Astoria for $1.95 billion, and is in a deal to acquire luxury-property owner Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. for about $6.5 billion. Gaining Starwood would add brands such as Sheraton, W, and St. Regis, as well as about $4 billion worth of real estate.

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