Starwood hotel chain accepts higher Marriott bid countering China's Anbang offer

NEW YORK (AFP) - Marriott International has raised its bid for Starwood Hotels, rivalling an offer from a consortium led by China's Anbang insurance, and has won acceptance from Starwood for the new terms, both companies said Monday.

Starwood's board decided that the revised terms "constitute a superior proposal" to the Anbang bid, the hotel chains said in a joint statement, only days after Starwood dumped Marriott as a merger partner when Anbang put an improved offer on the table.

The revised Marriott cash-and-stock bid values Starwood at US$13.6 billion (S$18.4 billion), compared to US$13.2 billion in Anbang's latest bid.

Marriott is offering 0.8 of its stock for each Starwood share plus US$21 in cash per share.

"The companies have signed an amendment to their definitive merger agreement that creates the world's largest hotel company," they said.

Only on Friday, Starwood had announced that it favoured the Anbang-led bid over an earlier deal with Marriott.

But on Monday, the joint statement said that Marriott's revised bid "offers superior value for Starwood's shareholders, the ability to close quickly, and provides value creation potential that will allow both sets of shareholders to benefit from improved financial performance".