Marriott Isn't Submitting a Higher Bid for Starwood Hotels
Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.
Not sick of hearing about the Starwood/Marriott/Anbang saga? Good! Because there's more news to share...
Earlier today, Starwood spilled the beans that Anbang has submitted an even higher bid to acquire the hotel chain, upping its offer from $78 to $82.75 per share. And unlike Marriott's bid of cash and stock, Anbang is offering all cash, which means the offer won't fluctuate with its stock price. On the surface, that gives it an upper hand right off the bat.
We've heard from many of you, and while there's some hesitation about Starwood being sold to a group of Chinese investors, there's more or less a consensus that Starwood loyalists are happy with the Starwood Preferred Guest program as it currently stands. If Marriott acquires Starwood, SPG will be folded into Marriott Rewards. Meanwhile, Anbang representatives have communicated a commitment to leave Starwood Preferred Guest alone, which means SPG members can expect to earn and burn points just as they have for years.
If you're under the impression that Starwood is better off without Marriott, today's announcement could be good news. In the release, Marriott "reaffirms its commitment to acquire Starwood" under the terms previously outlined on March 21. At the time, that offer was worth $79.53, but Marriott's stock price has fluctuated quite a bit since then. Marriott's sticking to its guns with that offer, which means investors will receive 0.8 shares of Marriott stock and $21 in stock for each share of Starwood. Based on Marriott's current share price of $71.34, that represents a total value of $78.07.
Marriott's latest angle here is that Anbang may not be able to close on the deal, but the chain offers no evidence to support this claim:
Starwood stockholders should give serious consideration to the question of whether the Anbang-led consortium will be able to close the proposed transaction, with a particular focus on the certainty of the consortium's financing and the timing of any required regulatory approvals.
Will that be enough to convince Starwood's investors? We'll have to wait until after April 8 to see — that's the date Starwood is targeting for a shareholder vote.
H/T: The New York Times