STAMFORD, CT—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide said Friday that it intended to terminate its merger with Marriott International and accept an unsolicited bid from a consortium led by Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd. The Stamford, CT-based hotelier announced this past Monday that it had received the Anbang bid, now sweetened to $78 per share from the original $76.
Starwood’s board determined that the Anbang bid constituted a “superior proposal,” as defined in Starwood’s merger agreement with Marriott. In announcing the board’s decision Friday, Starwood said the “binding and fully financed” Anbang proposal provided “a high degree of closing certainty.” However, Marriott has until March 28 to make a counter-offer.
Joining Anbang in the consortium are J.C. Flowers & Co. and Primavera Capital Ltd. The Chinese-based insurer, which last year acquired the Waldorf-Astoria for $1.95 billion, reportedly has acquired Strategic Hotels & Resorts from the Blackstone Group, although the $6.5-billion deal has yet to be formally announced. GlobeSt.com will provide more information on Starwood Hotels’ decision later today.