Hyatt also in talks to buy Starwood Hotels

Connecticut-based chain could sell for as much as $17B

Starwood Hyatt
Hyatt's Mark Hoplamazian, the W New York Times Square and Starwood's Adam Aron

Hyatt Hotels Corp. joined a growing throng of reported bidders for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

The Stamford, Conn.-based Starwood owns 1,200 properties globally, including the Westin, the W and St. Regis brands. It was valued at $12 billion at the start of Tuesday trading. Hyatt is valued at $7.2 billion.

The company could sell for as much as $100 per share, $17 billion, according to Harry Curtis of Nomura Securities.

“My hunch is they (Hyatt) would be able to (buy Starwood). They could pull it off but it would be a stretch,” Argus Research Group analyst John Staszak told Reuters.

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Starwood began to contemplate the sale three months ago, and has reached out to bidders including InterContinental Hotel Group and Wyndham Worldwide, a source told Reuters.

Two Chinese companies – Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels and HNA, the parent of Hainan Airlines — and the country’s sovereign wealth fund are also mulling bids. [Reuters]Ariel Stulberg