Hyatt Hotels Corp. is making moves to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Reuters reports that a deal could be made as soon as next week. Hyatt appears to be the prime choice for taking control of the faltering company. Upon facing mounting financial challenges, Starwood has reportedly been on the verge of a merger or buyout. Hyatt declined requests for comments.
The proposed acquisition comes at the same time two large Chinese companies and CIC, China’s largest sovereign wealth fund, have also shown collective interest in buying Starwood Hotels. The hotel company is currently valued at approximately $12.75 billion. According to Forbes, CIC has purchased more than $7.3 billion worth of global assets since 2012. This would be the first property acquisition for the group, which already has 9.9 percent stake in investment bank firm Morgan Stanley.
Reuters states that Starwood could be bought for more than $100 per share, which potentially puts the company at more than $17 billion. Hyatt Hotels is worth about $7.23 billion, yet analysts say that it is possible that Hyatt could pull off the buyout. Months ago, Starwood considered selling some of its midscale hotel brands and had solicited Wyndham Worldwide Corp. and InterContinental Hotels Group.
In February, Starwood’s former CEO Frits van Paasschen abruptly resigned upon mutual agreement over slow growth in the company’s domestic and international portfolios. Starwood owns St. Regis, W and Luxury Collection within its luxury brands; Sheraton, Westin and Le Meridian in its upper-upscale range; and mid-market hotels including Aloft, Four Points and Elements.