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Starwood accepts takeover offer by Anbang

21 Mar 2016 by Clement Huang
Starwood Hotels and Resorts has accepted a US$13.2 billion takeover bid by Anbang Insurance Group. As previously reported (see here), the hospitality group had agreed to a merger with Marriott International, after the latter presented a US$12.2 billion deal last November. However, Starwood received the last-minute, all-cash offer from Anbang last week (see here), which the group has since deemed superior to that of Marriott’s. “The Starwood board of directors, in consultation with its legal and financial advisors, has determined [that the offer by Anbang] constitutes a “Superior Proposal”, as defined in Starwood’s merger agreement with Marriott International,” said Starwood in a statement. John Paulson, president of Paulson & Co, Starwood’s biggest shareholder, has given his seal of approval for the Anbang takeover, calling the increased offer by the Chinese insurer “[one that] better reflects the value of Starwood”. “Anbang is a proven, sophisticated buyer of related assets and we welcome their interest in Starwood,” said Paulson in an email statement to Forbes. The Chinese insurance group is indeed no stranger to the hospitality industry, having previously acquired New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel for a substantial US$2 billion in 2014. As per the agreement, Marriott International now has the right to negotiate revisions to its existing merger agreement and deliver a counter offer within five days of Starwood's statement. Marriott is expected to do so, which could potentially lead to a bidding war between the two parties. For more information, visit starwoodhotels.com, marriott.com and anbanggroup.com Clement Huang
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