Starwood Gets Sweetened Bid From Chinese Buyers

March 28, 2016 by Paul Ausick

The Chinese consortium led by Anbang Insurance Group has raised its bid for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT) to $82.75 per share in a non-binding, all-cash offer that appears to be superior to last week’s offer of roughly $79.53 in cash and stock from Marriott International Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR).

The offer was made on Saturday, March 26, at $81 per share, and Starwood’s board determined that the offer was likely to lead to a legally defined superior proposal so it began discussions with the Anbang-led group. The result of those discussions was an increase in the buyout offer to $82.75.

Including approximately $5.91 per Starwood share related to a spin-off of the company’s timeshare business into a merger with Interval Leisure Group Inc. (NASDAQ: IILG), the total value of the offer rises to $88.66. Including the spin-off, the Marriott offer is valued at about $82.75 per share in cash and stock. The additional consideration would be paid in common stock of Interval Leisure Group.

In a separate news release, Marriott said:

Starwood stated today that its Board of Directors has not changed its recommendation in support of Starwood’s merger with Marriott.  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.

If the Anbang-led group prevails, Starwood has previously agreed to pay a break-up fee of $450 million in certain circumstances and also to reimburse Marriott for up to $18 million in actual costs related to the financing of the transaction.

Starwood’s stock traded up about 2.2% Monday afternoon, at $83.93 in a 52-week range of $56.87 to $87.99.

Marriott’s stock traded up 3.8%, at $71.25 in a 52-week range of $56.43 to $84.33.