BREAKING: Starwood Signs Deal To Be Acquired By Chinese Investors

Filed Under: Hotels, Marriott


Earlier this morning I wrote about how we haven’t yet received an update from Starwood regarding the takeover bid they received on Monday from Chinese investor group Anbang.

They offered $76 in cash per share, which was almost certainly better than the offer of 0.92 Marriott shares plus $2 per Starwood share. While the merger between Marriott and Starwood is already well underway, Starwood can still pursue other offers for the time being.

Well we now have an update, literally as of a few minutes ago… and it’s a huge one. Starwood has signed a deal to be acquired by Chinese investor group Anbang for $78 per share in cash.

Marriott now has five days to respond, and is apparently expected to make a counter-bid.

We have ourselves a bidding war. This is going to get interesting!

  1. In many ways, I think this is better than the Marriott acquisition, just because they’ll continue to be their own entity vs getting watered-down by Marriott (even if I was looking forward to using points for the Ritz 😉 ). Only time will tell…

  2. Great give the Chinese crooks access to all American travelers info. Good news for Marriott–I’ll never stay at a ‘Starwood’ property again. Chinese…geshhhh.

  3. Ya, I wouldn’t get too excited about a bidding war. What do you think the first thing a buyer who paid too much is going to do to the operations of Starwood to make the numbers work?

  4. I don’t think CNBC got it right – Starwood didn’t sign anything with the Anbang group and they legally can’t under their merger agreement with Marriott at the moment. They’ve only notified Marriott that they will sign with the Anbang group if Marriott doesn’t match or beat the $78 offer by March 28.

  5. @Ben – Totally unrelated comment. You know what I would love to see included for each of your posts? A dateline – as in where you are when you post your newest content. I think it would be kind of cool to know what city (or even as general as a country) you are. For privacy purposes (so people don’t mess with your reservations or whatever), I wouldn’t expect a hotel and room number. I thought about this when I woke up to this breaking news and wondered if you were up early in LA? Waiting in a lounge in Dubai? Visiting Tampa?

  6. The CNBC article is wrong. Starwood hasn’t signed anything with Anbang yet, they have merely exercised a clause in their sale contract with Marriott that allows Marriott to match an offer received by Starwood if it’s deemed to be a superior offer (Anbang’s offer qualifies). Marriott has TEN days, not five, to match the offer – which is sounds like they may do. If Marriott choses not to match the offer, then Starwood will sign a contract and be purchased by Anbang. It’s still entirely possible that Marriott buys Starwood – let’s not get too excited yet, guys

  7. Ah…so this is merely a way for Starwood to force Marriott to pay more. Love it. Negotiation 101.

  8. Ideally for SPG loyalists, Anbang would simply acquire Starwood and then recede into the background and let Starwood continue to do their thing. That is what Anbang did after their acquisition of THE Waldorf-Astoria. They bought it for $2B and then signed an agreement with Hilton for the latter to keep managing the iconic Manhattan hotel for the next 100 years!

    However, there is a reason why Starwood felt the need to be acquired in the first place. Therefore, any company that acquires them would quite likely want to chart a path away from the one that apparently led to Starwood wanting to be acquired. Many question marks, but for now, the biggest one is whether Marriott will bow out or make a counter offer…

  9. @ me – Did you write your comment on a smartphone made in China? If you’re so afraid of being hacked and spied on, better toss that phone in the trash while you’re at it.

  10. This is fantastic news not only for Starwood members but for competition! Plus I assume less job losses for Starwood! YAH!

  11. @chancer you are clueless like your posts.

    Now get back to your Bernie ‘peace and joy’ bubble world you live.

  12. I personally prefer Marriot. They’re class.
    Too bad SPG won’t come into Marriot for a bit longer / more money, but…

    I had the best stay of my life at three consequetive Marriots. My first time in a Marriot, my second time, my third time…. wonderful.

  13. This is fantastic news. When has any merger ever worked out for consumers? Was it when aa merged with us airways or when ba bought Bmi?

  14. I said it before: Cash is King!!!!! Marriott has no chance here. Sooooooooo glad I did not get the Marriott card.:) Amex stock is up 2%

  15. If I were Marriott, I’d take the $400 million, and wish SPG good luck working for their new, Chinese overlords.

  16. If Chinese take over of Waldorf Astoria is indicative of anything, it means chinese takeover of Starwood would be a diaster. Ever since Chinese bought Waldorf Astoria, quality has gone down significantly. For example, Waldorf Astoria always had beatiful fresh flowers in the lobby. Not anymore…

    All US presidents stayed at the Waldorf Astoria when visiting New York, but not anymore… Obama chose to skip Waldorf Astoria

  17. Presumably Obama didn’t want to stay in a room that had been bugged by the Chinese government. 🙂

    My worry here, as someone said above, is the more that whoever buys Starwood pays, the more they are going to have to cut corners and gouge clients to make that purchase pay off. 🙁

    Plus, if Anbang wins this bidding war, using Starwood’s in room wi-fi, it will no longer be possible to google “Tiananmen Square”, or even “democracy”….

  18. @ Robert Hanson – The usual Starwood guest, not being heads of state, need not worry about foreign espionage. More likely, they should concern themselves with avoiding in room wifi due to the risk of hackers stealing personal data. And there are plenty of hackers out there who don’t happen to be Chinese or Asian.

  19. Seriously…is there such a need for all this racist language? I bet the same people crying about Chinese investors have dozens of Made in China things they appreciate in their houses. Americans should get used to Chinese investors – who, by the way, are not the Chinese government – buying overseas properties and companies. Much like the 20th century was the American century, this will almost certainly be the Chinese century. The sooner the rest of us accept the inevitable, accept it, and work with it to our own advantage as well…the better off everyone will be. Instead of crying like xenophobic babies any time those Big Bad Chinese are mentioned…

    P.S. I am not Chinese

  20. Funny thing… a few decades ago, all of the hate was directed at Japan for buying up American businesses and property. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

  21. Damn, why so much hate against the Chinese? Not sure how Chinese ownership would suddenly mean widespread bugging of rooms? If that were true, people would stop staying at starwood properties, now wouldn’t they? Seems like an awful lot of money to waste.

  22. @DCS – Ideally we do hope that Anbang does keep a hands off management style. But I’m still not convinced. Chinese companies Are not known for hands off styles but there could be a first time for everything.

  23. Good news in my view. I always had strong doubts about the Marriott-SPG integration. Their cultures are extremely different – which is confirmed by the strong feelings of their loyal customers, respectively. I’m an SPG person and I don’t like to stay at Marriott hotels – but I do accept that there are others who see it right the other way around. So keeping them independent definitely makes sense from a marketing perspective.

    In respect of the spying … I would suggest a brief reality check: It was mostly the US (namely NSA and its sister organizations) who spied out the world, in particular allied heads of state (e.g. the German Chancellor). But as already chancer said, if you are not a head of state, what is the damage? I’m sure NSA has a detailled list of all my dinner appointments – but so what?

  24. Anil, you are waaaaay out of line. Legitimate complaints about the US losing assets, jobs, and other things that are crucial to the success of our economy and country as a whole does not amount to “racist hate speech”. Your comment is a gross, illogical, and overly emotional exaggeration. Shame on you for employing bully language to suppress a rational conversation.

    That said, it appears Marriott has ultimately won the bidding war.

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