Battle for Starwood Hotels & Resorts heats up after China's Anbang outbids Marriott with $14bn offer

Kasmira Jefford
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China's  Anbang Insurance Group Makes Buyout Bid For Starwood Hotel Group
Anbang and Marriott are vying for control of Sheraton owner Starwood (Source: Getty)

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide said it has received a higher $14bn offer from a consortium led by China's Anbang Insurance, in a move that could scupper Marriott International's proposed merger with the hotel group.

The US-listed company behind brands including W Hotels, Le Meridien and Sheraton, said that the Anbang group, which includes private equity firms JC Flowers and Primavera Capita, has offered $82.75 in cash for the business.

That compares with their previous offer of $81 a share put to the Starwood board on Friday and comes after Starwood revealed a revised merger agreement with Marriott International last Monday of $79.53 per share – or $85.36 per share after consideration from separate deal involving Interval Leisure Group is taken into account.

Starwood said it has not yet changed its recommendation to its shareholders in support of the company's merger with Marriott. A shareholder meeting to consider the Marriott deal is expected to take place on 8 April.

Marriott declined to say if it would in turn raise its offer. In a statement, the hotelier said it was confident that the previously announced amended merger agreement with Starwood is the best course for both companies.

"Starwood stockholders should give serious consideration to the question of whether the Anbang-led consortium will be able to close the proposed transaction, with a particular focus on the certainty of the consortium's financing and the timing of any required regulatory approvals," Marriott said in its statement.

Starwood shares were rose by more than two per cent in early morning trading while Marriott's shares were up by four per cent on hopes that Marriott will walk away from the costly takeover following Anbang's higher offer.