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China’s Anbang Insurance Surprises Starwood Hotels with Unsolicited $12.6 Billion Takeover Bid

Offer Comes Just 2 Weeks Away from Shareholder Vote on Marriott's $12.2 Billion Bid
March 14, 2016
Attempts to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide’s portfolio of some 1,300 upscale hotels in 100 countries, which has been full of surprises, received another major surprise bid this morning.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced that it received a non-binding proposal from an unidentified consortium of companies offering to buy the firm for $76 per share in cash, roughly $12.6 billion in total.

Last November, after weeks of reports that Starwood Hotels & Resorts would be acquired by suitor Hyatt Hotels Corp., Marriott International emerged with a $12.2 billion bid. The deal would have created the world's largest hotel chain, with a mindboggling 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms across 30 brands.

At the time, other unidentified bidders from China were said to be interested in Starwood.

This morning Marriott said it had been notified by Starwood that it had received the unsolicited indication of interest. Marriott identified the investment group as one led by China-based Anbang Insurance Group.

While noting the unsolicited indication of interest was “highly conditional and non-binding," Marriott nonetheless granted Starwood a waiver to expedite its evaluation of the letter from the interested consortium.

Starwood said its board of directors has not changed its recommendation in support of Starwood’s merger with Marriott. However, it added that its board would 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.

“The consortium has not completed diligence and there are a number of matters to be resolved in the consortium’s proposal, Starwood said.

Lazard and Citigroup Global Markets Inc. are serving as financial advisors and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is serving as legal counsel to Starwood.

Marriott said it would monitor this development as it and Starwood continue to work toward the closing of its transaction and the successful integration of the two companies in anticipation of votes by each company’s stockholders on March 28, 2016.

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