Anbang Quietly Retreats from Starwood Takeover

By Jesse Sokolow on 31 March 2016
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Le Meridien, New Orleans, a Starwood property

Le Meridien, New Orleans, a Starwood property

The consortium led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group is withdrawing its bid for Starwood Hotels and Resorts, according to a statement released by the hotelier late Thursday.

The group told Starwood that recent but unspecified “market conditions” were the reasons for the action.

Anbang and its partners recently upped their bid to $14 billion, after Marriott International, which had originally announced plans to acquire Starwood last November for $12.2 billion, trumped Anbang’s earlier offer. The Marriott bid valued Starwood at $13.6 billion.

On Monday, Starwood’s board termed the Anbang offer a “superior proposal” but Anbang never moved to make its bid binding, according to a Reuters report.

Starwood will now accept Marriott’s most recent offer.

“Starwood’s Board of Directors continues to unanimously support the existing merger with Marriott International, Inc., which will create the largest hospitality company in the world,” the company said in a statement.

If the two hoteliers consummate their merger, the result will be the world’s largest lodging company, with over one million rooms and 30 brands including Sheraton, Westin, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn, Le Meridien, and St. Regis.

Both companies urged late Thursday that their shareholders vote in favor of a merger, citing “significant economies of scale” and promising to offer “the most powerful loyalty program in hospitality.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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