Anbang Drops Out, Marriott Buying Starwood

Starwood was being shopped aggressively for over 6 months, and Marriott wound up the high bidder in the eyes of the Starwood board. There was interest from Hyatt. Possible interest from IHG and Wyndham.

Two weeks ago Starwood’s customers and shareholders were excited by a Chinese group led by insurer Anbang making a substantially higher offer for the hotel chain than the pending Marriott Marriott acquisition deal.

Then last Monday Marriott increased their offer substantially to take the lead in the acquisition of Starwood. Marriott’s offer is 0.8 Marriott shares and $21 in cash for each Starwood share. A shareholder vote was scheduled for April 8.

On Monday Chinese insurer Anbang came back with a higher offer. However Anbang is reportedly dropping out of the race to acquire Starwood.

Marriott shares closed at $71.18, valuing their offer for Starwood at $77.94 — or slightly less than the previous $78 a share fully financed Anbang offer they supposedly had ‘beaten’.

That leaves Marriott alone as the acquirer, unless someone else comes in with an offer above $78 in the next 9 days. Which means in all likelihood Marriott suffers the Winner’s Curse on the deal. At least they didn’t raise their offer again!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. And the Chinese just made Marriott spend way more money than they first expected. They will recover that by hammering SPG’s loyalty program.

  2. Starwood would’ve had to pay Marriott 450M if they picked Anbang. What does Anbang have to pay for making a winning bid and than dropping out?

  3. I’d cautioned against counting Marriott out too quickly. In fact, by refusing to be drawn further into a bidding war and then raising doubt about Anbang’s ability to navigate the treacherous regulatory waters, Marriott successfully got Angbang to develop cold feet and drop out. Their decision not make a counter offer to Anbang’s ludicrous $14B offer made the latter finally realize that they were about to pay too much. Once the doubt about the “value” of the deal was raised everything else got real, including the regulatory difficulties that lied ahead… too much for a relatively “green” company to attempt, so they folded…

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