|Photo by Freeimages.com/Juanita de Paola|
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has accepted a new bid from Marriott International to acquire the company, moving forward the plan to merge the two organizations that was announced back in November.
At a valuation of $79.53 per share, or $13.6 billion, Marriott's new offer tops last week's unsolicited bid by Chinese insurance company Anbang to acquire Starwood, which valued the company at $78 per share.
In a statement announcing Marriott's latest offer, Starwood's Board of Directors said that it determined Marriott's new bid to be the superior proposal. The transaction is subject to approval by stockholders of both companies, and each company has agreed to convene their respective stockholder meetings to consider the deal March 28, and to immediately adjourn such meeting until April 8. Additionally, the break-up fee Starwood would have to pay to Marriott under certain circumstances in which the merger does not occur has increased to $450 million, from $400 million.
If the approvals go through, Marriott and Starwood said they expect the merger to close in mid-2016.
Under the original merger plan with Marriott, in a recent interview Starwood CEO Tom Mangas said that the combined company would be more efficient in terms of spending and have an improved presence in the upscale market. Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson had said that plans were to keep all of Starwood's luxury brands, including St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W. On Marriott's side, the luxury Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari, Edition and Autograph brands were also slated to remain in place.
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