Investor group launches surprise bid for Starwood Hotels

$76-per-share offer could threaten Marriott-Starwood merger

From left: Marriott's Arne Sorenson, the W New York Times Square and Starwood's Thomas Mangas
From left: Marriott's Arne Sorenson, the W New York Times Square and Starwood's Thomas Mangas

Marriott Hotels suddenly faces competition in its bid to take over Starwood Hotels & Resorts – previously considered a done deal. On Monday, Starwood announced it received an unsolicited acquisition offer from an unnamed investor group for $76 per share, as well as stock considerations.

In November, Marriott reached a deal to buy the Stamford, CT-based hotel REIT for $12.2 billion – or around $72.08 per share at the time. Starwood, which owns hotel brands like Westin, W Hotels, St. Regis and Sheraton, had reportedly been looking for a buyer since April and received several offers before settling on Marriott.

According to Starwood’s statement, the Marriott offer of 0.92 Marriott shares and $2 in cash for each Starwood share has a current value of $63.74 per share, or around $10.8 billion total. The new offer, on top of $76 per share in cash, also includes stock considerations valued at $5.50 per share.

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On Starwood’s website, the REIT said it received a “waiver” from Marriott allowing it to consider the new bid and began discussions with the mystery consortium on Friday.

“Starwood’s Board of Directors has not changed its recommendation in support of Starwood’s merger with Marriott,” the statement reads. “The Board, in consultation with its legal and financial advisors, will carefully consider the outcome of its discussions with the Consortium in order to determine the course of action that is in the best interest of Starwood and its stockholders.”

News broke over the weekend that Chinese insurer Anbang had purchased the Strategic Hotels & Resorts portfolio of 16 hotels from the Blackstone Group. – Konrad Putzier