JW Marriott Los Cabos, Mexico

After a fierce bidding war, a legal challenge from hotel owners and delays in the regulatory approval process, Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood has finally reached the finish line.

Approval from China’s Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) was the last hurdle preventing the agreement from proceeding. The companies had previously cleared the prepurchase antitrust review in the United States and Canada and multiple other jurisdictions. On August 8, MOFCOM requested more time to review the deal, leaving the Marriott-Starwood transaction in limbo. On September 20, both companies announced that MOFCOM approved the acquisition.

As this was the last regulatory approval required to complete the merger, Marriott and Starwood are now able to proceed with closing the transaction and expect to be a combined company on September 23. Upon closing, Marriott will become the world’s largest hotel company. Starwood shares will cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange before the market opens on September 23.

Marriott-Starwood Merger Timeline

  • Starwood accepts a $12.2 billion acquisition offer from Marriott in November
  • Starwood opts for a $13.2 billion bid by Anbang on March 17
  • Marriott sweetens offer to $13.6 billion, which Starwood accepts
  • Anbang allowed to continue negotiations, upping its offer to $14 billion
  • Anbang pulls out of negotiations on March 31
  • Special meeting of Starwood and Marriott stockholders approve merger on April 8
  • Hotel owners in Chicago and New York sue to block transaction on May 10
  • Chinese Ministry of Commerce requests extension to review transaction on August 8
  • Chinese Ministry of Commerce approves Marriott purchase of Starwood on September 20

Further Reading

Lawsuit Aims to Block Marriott’s Purchase of Starwood
Stockholders Approve Marriott-Starwood Deal