The proposed merger between Marriott International, Inc. MAR and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. HOT moved a step forward. The deal is likely to be closed in mid-2016, after the completion of Starwood's divestiture of the timeshare business, expected to be concluded around Apr 30.
Both the hoteliers announced on Apr 8 that stockholders had approved the proposed acquisition at their individual shareholders meet. While 97% of Marriott’s shareholders voted in favor of the proposal, 95% of Starwood stockholders approved the merger.
Both the companies have received the green signal from antitrust regulators in the United States, Canada and other regions. However, certain other regulatory approvals – like those in the European Union and China are yet to be obtained.
Last November, Marriot inked a definitive merger to purchase Starwood and create the world's largest hotel company. However, on Mar 14, Starwood announced that it has received a non-binding offer from a group of companies led by Anbang Insurance Group Co. to acquire all its outstanding shares for $76 each in cash or a total of around $13 billion. The consortium of companies also included J.C. Flowers & Co. and Primavera Capital Limited. Since then, Anbang raised its offer multiple times to win over Starwood.
Later, on Mar 21, Marriott raised its bid to $13.6 billion from $12.2 billion.
However, on Mar 31, Starwood announced that the consortium has withdrawn its buyout proposal worth $82.75 per share primarily due to concerns related to the market. Also, it does not aim to make another offer.
Per the deal, Starwood’s shareholders will receive 0.8 shares of Marriott along with $21.00 in cash for each share they hold. In addition, they will receive a separate consideration from the spin-off of the company’s timeshare business – Vistana Signature Experiences – and its proposed merger with Interval Leisure Group, Inc.’s wholly owned subsidiary.
On completion, the combined entity would operate or franchise about 5,700 hotels with 1.1 million rooms globally bringing together 30 brands catering to all lodging segments.
Starwood currently carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell), whereas Marriott has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A couple of better-ranked stocks in the same sector are Marriott Vacations Worldwide Corp. VAC and Red Lion Hotels Corporation RLH, both of which sport a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
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