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Unsolicited takeover offer for Starwood could upset merger with Marriott

By Ed Adamczyk
A Sheraton hotel, owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., in Bangkok, Thailand. A planned merger of Starwood and Marriott International Inc. is expected on March 28, but Monday a Chinese consortium of companies made an unsolicited offer for Starwood. File photo by Hanoi Photography/Shutterstock
A Sheraton hotel, owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., in Bangkok, Thailand. A planned merger of Starwood and Marriott International Inc. is expected on March 28, but Monday a Chinese consortium of companies made an unsolicited offer for Starwood. File photo by Hanoi Photography/Shutterstock

STAMFORD, Conn., March 14 (UPI) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., which agreed to a merger with Marriott International Inc. last year, has received an unsolicited takeover offer from a Chinese consortium.

The Starwood-Marriott deal would create the world's largest hotel chain, but Monday Starwood announced another offer to buy the company at $76 per share, or about $12.9 billion. A statement from Marriott on Monday identified the proposed new buyer as a group led by Beijing-headquartered Anbang Insurance Group.

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The new offer from Anbang, Marriott said, is "highly conditional and non-binding."

Marriott, based in Bethesda, Md., offered $72 per share for Starwood, headquartered in Stamford, Conn., in November, and said its offer would not change. A stockholder's vote is scheduled for March 28.

A Starwood statement said its board of directors "has not changed its recommendation in support of Starwood's merger with Marriott."

If Starwood should pull out of the merger with Marriott, it would be obligated to pay Marriott a $400 million termination fee.

Anbang recently agreed to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. for $6.5 billion, a chain of 16 U.S. resort and luxury hotels.

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