The Bidding War Is Over: China’s Anbang Insurance Drops Pursuit Of Starwood Hotels

Image courtesy of (johannesmarder)

Just three weeks after crashing Marriott’s party and throwing billions of dollars in the ring to take over Starwood Hotels — the operator of brands like Sheraton, St. Regis, Westin, and W — China’s Anbang Insurance Group packed up its bids and decided to go home, leaving Marriott and its $13.25 billion to be crowned the merger winner. 

Three days after Anbang once again trumped Marriott’s offer,  Starwood announced the consortium would formally withdraw its $14 billion takeover offer for the hotel chain.

It’s unclear exactly what led Anbang to step back from its desire for Starwood, the New York Times reports.

The consortium issued a statement Thursday that simply blamed unspecified “various market considerations” for the decision.

Following Anbang’s decision to back out of its bid, Starwood said its board of directors continued to unanimously support the existing merger with Marriott to create the largest hotelier in the world.

“We continue to be very excited about the combination of our two companies and are committed to completing this deal in an expeditious manner,” Bruce Duncan, Chairman of Starwood’s Board, said in a statement.

As it stands, Marriott’s deal to buy Starwood is valued at $13.25 billion, with $9.7 billion coming from Marriott stock and $3.6 billion from cash.

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 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.

Starwood Bidding War Ends Abruptly, Yielding a Merger and a Puzzle [The New York Times]

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