Starwood Hotels receives higher US$82.75-a-share offer from Anbang

A Marriott hotel in San Francisco, California, taken on Nov 15, 2015.
A Marriott hotel in San Francisco, California, taken on Nov 15, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

BEIJING (BLOOMBERG) - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide said it received a higher takeover offer from a group led by Anbang Insurance Group, putting the Chinese company back into battle with Marriott International Inc. for control of the hotel operator.

Starwood said the Anbang group offered US$82.75 (S$113.4) a share in cash, or about US$14 billion, according to a statement Monday.

That compares with Marriott's stock-and-cash offer valued at US$75.91 a share, or about US$12.8 billion, based on Thursday's closing price.

Starwood, which has had a merger agreement with Marriott since November, on March 21 said it would proceed with an amended deal after receiving a sweetened bid from its larger competitor.

A 6.2 per cent decline in Marriott's stock in the four days through Thursday pushed the value of its latest offer below the Anbang group's previous cash bid of US$78 a share.

The new offer from Anbang, which is working with J.C. Flowers & Co. and Primavera Capital, shows the insurer won't easily back down as it seeks to build its hotel holdings.

The Beijing-based company last year purchased Manhattan's landmark Waldorf Astoria for US$1.95 billion, and is in a deal to acquire luxury-property owner Strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc. for about US$6.5 billion. Gaining Starwood would add brands such as Sheraton, W and St. Regis, as well as about US$4 billion worth of real estate.