from Wolf Street:
The bigger the price, the better.
Starwood Hotels, which owns 11 brands including Sheraton, W Hotels, and St. Regis, spread over nearly 1,300 hotels & resorts in 100 countries, announced today that an unnamed “Consortium” has made an all-cash offer to acquire the hotel group for $76 a share, or $12.8 billion.
That consortium is trying to spoil Marriott’s party. Last November, Marriott agreed to acquire Starwood to form the world’s largest hotel behemoth with over 1 million rooms.
Marriott in turn came out today and announced that the consortium was in fact led by Anbang Insurance Group in China. On March 11, Starwood had approached Marriott with the news of the unsolicited offer and obtained a waiver to pursue the new deal. The breakup fee is $400 million. So if Anbang gets Starwood, it would pay a total of $13.2 billion.
Anbang has been busy recently. It acquired the Waldorf Astoria in Manhattan in late 2014 for a record $1.95 billion from Hilton, at the time majority-owned by Blackstone, after having acquired office buildings in New York and Canada. It also acquired South Korea’s Tongyang Life for $1 billion.
Not all deals worked out. Its €3.5 billion bid for Novo Banco, a teetering Portuguese “systemically important” bank, sank into the quicksand of politics.
But Anbang keeps slugging. Over the weekend, word leaked out that it had agreed to acquire Strategic Hotels & Resorts from Blackstone for $6.5 billion. According to Bloomberg’s sources, Anbang paid $450 million more than Blackstone had paid for it three months ago!
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