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Starwood agrees to increased $13.6B merger deal with Marriott

By Ed Adamczyk
Starwood hotels agreed to a sweetened merger offer by Marriott on Monday valued at $13.6 billion. File photo by Hanoi Photography/Shutterstock
Starwood hotels agreed to a sweetened merger offer by Marriott on Monday valued at $13.6 billion. File photo by Hanoi Photography/Shutterstock

BETHESDA, Md., March 21 (UPI) -- Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. announced Monday it approved an improved merger agreement with Marriott International Inc.

The $13.6 billion deal will form the world's largest hotel chain, and comes after Marriott improved its bid to buy Starwood following a better offer by a consortium led by China's Anbang Insurance Group Co.

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Marriott initially sought to buy Starwood by offering stockholders $2 in cash per share and an exchange of 0.92 per share of Marriott stock in exchange for each share of Starwood common stock. Anbang offered $78 per share last week, a bid Starwood called superior to that of Marriott.

But Starwood agreed to the original merger by Marriott after it upped its offer to $21 in cash per share and an exchange of 0.8 per share of Marriott stock for a Starwood share.

The deal values Starwood shares at $79.53 per share, its Friday closing price.

"We are pleased that Marriott has recognized the value that Starwood brings to this merger and enhanced the consideration being paid to Starwood shareholders. We continue to be excited about the combination of Starwood and Marriott, which will create the world's largest hotel company with an unparalleled platform for global growth in the upscale segment. We are also pleased with the progress the two companies have made toward closing," said Bruce Duncan, Starwood chairman, in a statement Monday.

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Anbang recently purchased the luxury hotel chain Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc., for $6.5 billion, and owns the prestigious Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York.

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