Marriott, Starwood shareholders OK merger

Apr 08, 2016, 12:20 PM EDT
(Source: Mike Mozart/flickr)
(Source: Mike Mozart/flickr)

Marriott and Starwood shareholders approved the two firms' merger to become the world's largest hotel company.

Reuters reports:

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc (HOT.N) and Marriott International Inc (MAR.O) said on Friday the stockholders of the companies voted to approve Marriott's acquisition of Starwood to create the world's largest hotel company. Holders of more than 97 percent of Marriott shares and over 95 percent of Starwood shares voted in favor of the cash-and-stock deal, which was valued at $12.41 billion as of Thursday. China's Anbang Insurance Group Co last week abandoned its $14 billion offer for Starwood Hotels, clearing the way for Marriott to buy the owner of Sheraton and Westin hotel brands. Marriott raised the cash portion of its offer to $21 per share on March 21 from $2 per share, valuing the total bid at $73.42 per share as of Thursday. Marriott said the deal was on track to close mid-2016. "Our teams continue to plan the integration of our two companies," Marriott Chief Executive Arne Sorenson said. The deal has cleared the pre-merger antitrust review in the United States and Canada and awaits approvals in the European Union and China.

Bloomberg notes:

With the purchase, Marriott will add 10 brands including Sheraton, W, St. Regis and Westin, along with a global following of loyal guests. Marriott currently has 19 brands, including its namesake chains, Ritz-Carlton and Bulgari. The new company will gain power in negotiating commissions with online travel agents and be able to better compete with Airbnb. The deal is scheduled for completion midyear. The saga started early last year when Starwood put itself up for sale after lagging behind larger competitors in expanding the number of properties carrying its brands. It was pursued by about a dozen companies, including Hyatt Hotels Corp. and other Chinese suitors before Marriott swooped in.

USA Today writes

As part of the deal, Starwood shareholders will own about 34% of the combined company’s common stock after completion of the merger. "There is no doubt that this transaction puts our company on the best path forward and we remain excited about the opportunity this combination will create for our stockholders, associates, owners and guests," said Starwood CEO Thomas Mangas. The combined companies will have 30 brands and 1.1 million rooms. Starwood’s brands include the Westin, W Hotels, and Aloft. Marriott has Renaissance, AC Hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, among others.

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