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Consortium gatecrashes Marriott's Starwood deal with £9bn offer

Merger between hotel chains is expected to be finalised by the end of March

A Chinese-led consortium has attempted to gatecrash Marriott’s multi-billion pound takeover of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

The £8bn hotel mega-merger is expected to be rubber-stamped in a board meeting on 28 March, but Starwood has revealed it received an unsolicited bid of almost US$13bn (£9bn) last week from a consortium led by Chinese insurer Anbang.

Although Starwood has opened discussions with the consortium, both companies expect the deal to be finalised as planned. 

A statement from Starwood read: “Starwood’s Board of Directors has not changed its recommendation in support of Starwood’s merger with Marriott. The Board, in consultation with its legal and financial advisors, will carefully consider the outcome of its discussions with the Consortium in order to determine the course of action that is in the best interest of Starwood and its stockholders.

“The consortium has not completed diligence and there are a number of matters to be resolved in the consortium’s proposal. There can be no assurance that discussions will result in a binding proposal from the consortium or that a transaction with the consortium will be approved or consummated.”

Marriott added that it remained confident the merger can clear the remaining regulatory approvals and close the deal ‘expeditiously’.

“This unsolicited indication of interest is highly conditional and non-binding,” a statement said. “Marriott is confident that the previously announced merger agreement is the best course for both companies. Marriott will monitor this development as it and Starwood continue to work toward the closing of its transaction and the successful integration of the two companies in anticipation of votes by each company's stockholders on March 28, 2016.”

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