Marriott’s $12.4B takeover of Starwood approved by both sides

Shareholders give deal forming the world's largest hotel operator the go-ahead

Marriott Starwood
From left: Arne Sorenson and Thomas Mangas

After a drawn-out process that including a bidding war with Chinese insurance giant Anbang, Marriott International’s $12.4 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts received approval from shareholders of both companies – all but sealing a deal that will create the world’s largest hotel operator.

The takeover received overwhelming approval Friday from both sides of the table, with Starwood stockholders getting 0.8 shares of Marriott common stock plus $21 in cash for each share of Starwood stock, the companies said in a joint statement.

The deal is valued at $73.42 per share based on Thursday’s closing prices, according to Bloomberg, and is indicative of growing consolidation in the hospitality business as the industry deals with the rise of online booking services and home-sharing services like Airbnb.

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Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood is the largest hotel company takeover since Blackstone Group acquired Hilton Worldwide Holdings for $26 billion in 2007. The new, combined entity will eclipse Hilton as the world’s largest hotel operator, with 1.1 million rooms across 5,700 properties.

But the process was complicated by a drawn-out bidding war with Anbang, which saw the Beijing-based conglomerate offer $14 billion for Starwood before abruptly retracting its bid. Anbang’s interest forced Marriott to sweeten its original offer for Starwood, which was originally accepted in November.

The acquisition adds 10 brands to Marriott’s operations including Sheraton, W, St. Regis and Westin. The company’s 19 current brands include its namesake chains, Ritz-Carlton and Bulgari. The deal is slated for completion later this year. [Bloomberg]Rey Mashayekhi

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