Bidding War Continues: China’s Anbang Insurance Offers $14B For Starwood Hotels

Image courtesy of boogie_man

Just when you thought $13.6 billion was enough to put an end to the bidding war for Starwood Hotels — home to brands like Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin, and W — and crown Marriott the victor, the other suitor, China’s Anbang Insurance Group, comes back to sweeten the deal with an offer of $14 billion.

Starwood announced the latest news this morning, saying it was still negotiating terms of a binding proposal and that nothing was final.

The company said it will “carefully consider the outcome of its discussions with the consortium” in order to determine the best course of action for shareholders, but notes that it has not yet determined the offer to be a “superior proposal” to that from Marriott.

Starwood says it intends to convene its stockholder meeting to consider the previously agreed upon merger with Marriott on March 28, 2016, and immediately adjourn the meeting until April 8, 2016.

“Starwood’s Board has not changed its recommendation in support of Starwood’s merger with Marriott,” the company says.

There is still time — a few hours, anyway — 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.

Marriott first agreed to purchase Starwood for $12 billion in November 2015 in a bid to create the world’s largest hotelier.

That deal was put into doubt five months later when it received an unsolicited takeover bid of roughly $13.2 billion from Anbang. Days later, Marriott came back with a $13.6 billion deal, that Starwood again agreed to.

While the company is relatively unknown in the U.S., the company previously purchased Hilton’s flagship Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan for $1.95 billion in Oct. 2014. More recently, Anbang acquired the Strategic Hotels & Resorts portfolio, which includes luxury properties under the Loews, Fairmont, InterContinental, and Four Seasons brands.

[via Bloomberg]

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