Marriott International’s takeover of rival Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide is set to complete this week after China’s antitrust authority granted approval for the $13.6bn (£10.4bn) merger today.
The Chinese ministry of commerce was the only regulator pending approval for the tie-up, after the hospitality giants secured premerger green lights from more than 40 other markets including the EU, US, South Africa and Canada.
In a statement, Marriott said the combination is expected to be completed before the market opens on Friday. The tie-up will create the world’s biggest hotel group with an enterprise value of $36bn and more than 1.1m hotel rooms.
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Starwood investors will receive $21 in cash and 0.8 of a share of Marriott stock for each of share.
Former Starwood shareholders will also be entitled to receive Marriott’s quarterly cash dividend of 30 cents per share, which the group declared on 13 September.
News of the approval sent Marriott’s stock up three per cent to $70.38 per share in morning trading in New York, while Starwood shares were up 2.9 per cent to $77.25 per share.
Investors at both companies voted in favour of the takeover in April, following a bidding war between Marriott and Chinese insurance behemoth Anbang.
Marriott and Starwood had originally struck a $12.2bn deal last November, before Anbang waded in and outbid Marriott in March.
It then walked away from the deal at the last moment citing “market considerations”, allowing the originally-intended tie-up to move ahead.