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Starwood hotels and Marriott have been in the news a lot lately – back in November, I reported on Marriott buying Starwood hotels. Starwood had been “on the market” for quite awhile, and even though there was interest from several different hotels, Marriott appeared to be the winner, with an offer of about $65 / share. Most consumers (myself included) were not fans of a Marriott – Starwood merger. Even though the Marriott CEO promised not to devalue SPG points, most people were not convinced. And that’s not even mentioning the fact that such a merger would likely mean the end of the Amex SPG cards (currently with a record high 35,000 point signup bonus!)
A few days ago, it was announced that a consortium led by the Chinese insurer Anbang had made an offer of $78/ share and Starwood officially called this a “superior offer”, triggering a provision in their merger contract.
Today’s news – Starwood is BACK with Marriott
Per the Wall Street Journal (paywall), Starwood is now BACK with Marriott, after having agreed to an updated deal, reportedly worth $13.6 billion dollars. The deal will give 0.8 shares of Marriott stock AND $21 in cash for each share of Starwood stock owned. The deal values Starwood stock at $79.53, which is a slight premium over the deal lead by Anbang.
Is this the end of this saga? I tend to doubt it – we’ll see if Anbang comes back with any type of counter-offer!