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Starwood’s CEO Expects a Merger or Acquisition Soon

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It’s been a busy week for the Starwood rumor mill. Back in April and May, a merger with IHG appeared to be on the table, and over the last few days we’ve heard everything from potential bids in China to Hyatt’s own plan to acquire the global hotel giant. With rumor after rumor, we decided to sit tight on coverage, until Starwood’s CEO acknowledged the chatter during his company’s earnings call late this afternoon.

According to an Associated Press report, Starwood CEO Adam Aron mentioned on the call that his company is near to signing a deal to sell or merge with another hotel chain, saying “Our progress is active and nearing conclusion.” Based on earlier rumors, it seems most likely that Hyatt is that chain, and that Starwood will be acquired in a stock and cash deal.

Girandole Restaurant at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.
Girandole Restaurant at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

What’s most interesting here is that Starwood is the much larger company, with control of 362,623 rooms at 1,271 hotels and a current market cap of $13.6 billion, according to AP. Hyatt, meanwhile, reportedly has 160,205 rooms at just 618 hotels.

Of course, the biggest question travelers have right now is what a combined chain will look like from a loyalty perspective. It’s possible that SPG and Hyatt Gold Passport would eventually be combined, though that will hardly be the top priority following an acquisition. While we won’t report every rumor, we’ll be staying on top of this development — for the latest news as soon as it’s published, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

What do you think about a potential Starwood acquisition?

H/T: View from the Wing

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