The deal by Marriott International to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts for $12.2b (£8b) has been thrown into turmoil following an 11th hour counter bid from a Chinese-led consortium of investors.
Marriott immediately reaffirmed its commitment to acquire Starwood and create the world's largest hotel company made up of 1.1 million rooms across more than 5,500 hotels and 30 brands.
If the merger goes ahead, the newly enlarged group, which will bring together the likes of Ritz-Carlton, Edition and Moxy from Marriott alongside St Regis, Sheraton and W from Starwood, is expected to be confirmed by a vote of each company's stockholders on 28 March with the deal being completed by the middle of the year.
Starwood said that its board of directors had not changed its recommendation in support of the company's merger with Marriott, but it would carefully consider its discussions with the new bidders to determine which course of action will be in the best interest of Starwood and its stockholders. It added that there are a number of matters to be resolved in the consortium's proposal.
Anbang Insurance Group is currently in the process of acquiring Strategic Hotels & Resorts, comprising 16 luxury properties in the US, from Blackstone Group for $6.5b (£4.6b). It already owns the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York.
In the UK, Starwood currently has 11 hotels including Aloft Liverpool; Aloft London Excel; Great Northern (Tribute Portfolio); Le Méridien Piccadilly; Sheraton Grand hotel & spa, Edinburgh; Sheraton Heathrow; Sheraton Skyline; Trump Turnberry, a Luxury Collection Resort; the Park Lane hotel; the Park Tower Knightsbridge, a Luxury Collection hotel; and W London - Leicester Square.
Meanwhile, Marriott operates 63 hotels under nine brands in the UK: Marriott Hotels, Renaissance Hotels, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard by Marriott, Residence Inn, Autograph Collection Hotels, Bvlagri, Edition Hotels and Marriott Executive Apartments. There are also three hotels in the pipeline under the budget Moxy brand.
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