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Starwood Hotels receives a takeover bid for $13 billion

The American hotel group, which is officially betrothed to Marriott International, just received a takeover bid for all its shares at 76$ each, for an aggregate value of 13 billion. Starwood's Board of Directors recommends the group pursue its merger with Marriott International.

The management of the group Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced it received a takeover bid from a "consortium" of investors led by the Chinese insurance group Anbang for all available shares at a unite price of 76$, meaning a cash offer of $13 billion for the 171 millions shares in circulation. The group's directors, who intend to pursue exclusive discussions regarding the merger with Marriott International, received temporary authorization from Marriott to meet  representatives from this "consortium" and to study their offer until March 17 at 12:00pm.

The merger of the two American groups was accepted based on cash payment of $2 per share plus the remainder in Marriott shares, raising Starwood Hotels group to around $11 billion. The new offer puts $2 billion more on the table, with full cash payment.

According to some sources the "Consortium" includes private groups led by Anbang, a Chinese insurance company that is no newcomer in terms of hotel investment. The company already owns the Waldorf Astoria in New York (paid $2 billion) and recently acquired a hotel portfolio in the Strategic Hotels fund sold by Blackstone for more than $6 billion. 

The Starwood Hotels Board of Directors of will enter discussions with their representatives to understand if the offer is conform to the final interest of shareholders. The Board of Directors is reticent in light of the lack of information regarding the consortium's intentions to prevent the merger. It continues to recommend the group pursue discussions with Marriott International.

It is said that the movement to restructure that has been undertaken by primary leaders worldwide will continue to be the source of last minute surprises.The Chinese group was excluded from a first attempt to acquire Starwood Hotels and is silently returning through the small door by laying cash on the table.  Many questions are being raised with an initial response at noon on March 17, when Marriott's waiver expires.
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