Marriott To Buy Starwood Hotels For $12.2B

Less than a month after Hyatt Hotels was reported to be in talks to buy rival Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, it was a different lodging industry giant that popped the $12.2 billion question. 

Marriott International announced on Monday that it had agreed to buy Starwood – the operator of brands like Sheraton, St. Regis, W and Westin.

The newly combined company, which would create the world’s largest hotel business, would include more than 5,500 owned or franchised hotels with 1.1 million rooms in more than 100 countries around the world.

“The driving force behind this transaction is growth,” Arne Sorenson, the Marriott president and chief executive, said in a news release. “This is an opportunity to create value by combining the distribution and strengths of Marriott and Starwood, enhancing our competitiveness in a quickly evolving marketplace.”

Starwood first announced in April that it had decided to explore a sale. Several months later the company had reached out to potential bidders such InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, Wyndham Worldwide Corp and sovereign wealth funds.

Back in late October it was reported that Hyatt Hotels was in talks to buy Starwood, but neither company would provide comment on the speculation.

During that same week, Starwood announced that it had sold its vacation ownership business to Interval Leisure Group for $1.5 billion.

[via The New York Times]