China Firm Offers $13 Billion for Starwood

The Romanos Costa Navarino, a Starwood property

Fresh off its $6.5 billion purchase of Strategic Hotels & Resorts on Sunday, Anbang Insurance Group of China made an offer Monday morning to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts for $13 billion.

In November, Marriott International made a $12.2 billion deal to purchase Starwood, consisting of $11.9 billion in stocks and $300 million in cash. Marriott expects to finalize it at the end of this month. But its agreement with Starwood includes a $400 million breakup fee and enables Starwood to consider other offers through March 17.

Marriott released this statement regarding the new offer: “Marriott is confident that the previously announced merger agreement is the best course for both companies.”

The unsolicited bid from a consortium led by Anbang valued Starwood shares at $76 each, while the present value of Marriott’s stock and cash offer is around $63.74 after a decline in its stock price. Marriott’s stocks were around $72.08 per share when it announced its tentative acquisition of Starwood.

Anbang’s offer would keep Starwood’s executive team in place. The Beijing-based firm has attracted interest in China because of its political connections. The company’s founder, Wu Xiaohui, is married to the granddaughter of Deng Xiaoping, China’s former leader and the architect of the country’s transition from a planned economy.

The firm has made at least $23 billion in purchases worldwide in the last 18 months, including a $2 billion takeover of the renowned Waldorf Astoria New York in the Big Apple and yesterday’s purchase of Strategic Hotels & Resorts, a portfolio of the Blackstone Group consisting of 16 properties.

Strategic’s properties include the Ritz-Carltons in Half Moon Bay and Laguna Niguel in California; Montage Laguna Beach in California; Four Seasons hotels in Austin, Texas, Washington, DC, and Silicon Valley, California; and InterContinental hotels in Chicago and Miami.

Chinese companies have been spending billions of dollars annually on international property acquisitions. This year, the total already has reached $102 billion, just short of its record of $106 billion set in 2015.

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