Starwood Backs Away From Marriott Deal After New Buyer Offers $13.2B

Image courtesy of Freaktography

Earlier this week, it looked like the $12 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels — which includes brands like Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin, and W — by Marriott was in doubt after last-minute interest from China-based Anbang Insurance Group. Today, there is no doubt; that original deal is dead and Starwood is going with the higher offer from Anbang.

This morning, Starwood announced that it had received a binding and fully financed $13.2 billion bid from Anbang, which the hotel group has deemed a “superior proposal” to the Marriott offer.

As such, Starwood says it intends to terminate its pending marriage to Marriott, which would have created the world’s largest hotel operation. Instead, if the Anbang deal goes through it will be the most valuable acquisition of a U.S. company by a Chinese business.

There is still an opportunity for Marriott to make its case. The terms of the agreement between the two hotel groups gives Marriott until the end of March 28 to come up with a better offer than Anbang’s.

“Starwood will negotiate in good faith with Marriott during this period, and the Starwood Board will consider in good faith any changes to the Marriott agreement that Marriott may propose during this period,” reads a statement from the company.

Anbang has recently begun making a splash in the high-end hotel business, first purchasing the legendary Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, then acquiring the Strategic Hotels & Resorts portfolio, which includes luxury properties under the Loews, Fairmont, InterContinental, and Four Seasons brands.

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