Marriott Now the World’s Largest Hotel Operator

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016
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Marriott has won over Starwood with a sweetened bid worth more than $US14.4 billion ($A18.93 billion) just days after a Chinese insurance company appeared to steal it away from the hotel chain with a more lucrative offer.

The buyout, which may still be contested by China’s Anbang, would create the world’s biggest hotel company and give Marriott a stable of properties run by Starwood.

Starwood, which owns Sheraton, Westin and St Regis, over the weekend became the first US hotel operator to gain access to Cuba, a day before the arrival of President Barack Obama. It is the first visit to Cuba by a sitting president in almost 90 years as relations between the two nations thaw.

The revised deal would give Starwood shareholders $US21 in cash and 0.80 shares of Marriott International Inc Class A stock for each Starwood share. Starwood shareholders are also expected to get Interval Leisure Group stock valued at $US5.83 per share. Taken together, that would value Starwood stock at $US85.36 per share, or about $US14.41 billion.

Marriott has more than 4,400 properties in 87 countries and territories, under brands such as Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn and Marriott. Starwood has nearly 1,300 properties in about 100 countries.

Just days ago, Anbang put up an offer of $US83.83 for each Starwood share, or approximately $US14.15 billion. Starwood stockholders would have received $US78 in cash for each share they own plus $US5.67 in stock for a spinoff of a vacation business.

Anbang made a dramatic entry into the US two years ago when it bought the famed Waldorf Astoria of York for almost $US2 billion. Days before it contested Marriott for control of Starwood, it laid down $US6.5 billion to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc, which owns several high-end properties including the JW Marriott Essex House in New York and Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego.

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