China's Anbang Insurance is walking away from its proposed $14bn (£9.7bn) takeover of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, citing "market considerations".
"We were attracted to the opportunity presented by Starwood because of its high-quality, leading global hotel brands, which met many of our acquisition criteria, including the ability to generate consistent, long-term returns over time," Anbang said in a statement.
"However, due to various market considerations, the consortium has determined not to proceed further. We thank the Starwood board, management team and its advisors for their efforts and support throughout this process."
Starwood's share price fell 4.41 per cent in after hours trading after the surprise move.
The Chinese insurer's departure follows an intense bidding battle between the Anbang-led consortium and Marriott Hotels.
Earlier this week, Anbang outbid Marriott's offer of $13.6bn, raising the stakes to $14bn.
However, a takeover bid from Anbang in mid-March worth $12.8bn raised the stakes for Marriott and sparked the intense bidding process.
Neither Starwood nor Marriott were available for comment.