BUSINESS

Chinese Make Major Push Into U.S. Hotel Market

In what could be the biggest ever takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese investor, Starwood Hotels agrees to be bought by Chinese insurance company Anbang for nearly $13 billion.

StarwoodStarwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., owner of brands such as Westin, Sheraton and W, said it plans to accept a $13.2 billion takeover bid by China’s Anbang Insurance Group Co. and gave suitor Marriott International Inc. a deadline to make a counteroffer.

Anbang and its partners will pay $78 a share in cash for Starwood, according to a statement Friday. The offer is $2 a share more than the surprise bid the group made last week and eclipses Marriott’s cash-and-stock deal, which Starwood agreed to in November and is now worth $69.31 a share, based on Marriott’s closing price of $73.16. Marriott has a March 28 deadline to renegotiate its agreement and salvage its plan to create the world’s biggest hotel operator.

A takeover by Anbang would extend a push into U.S hotels that started last year with its $1.95 billion purchase of Manhattan’s Waldorf Astoria. The sweetened bid underscores the intense interest in hotels from Chinese investors, who are seeking to buy hard assets abroad and capture demand from a surge in Chinese travelers.

Marriott, which avoids overpaying for assets, probably won’t engage in a protracted bidding war, according to analysts including Robert W. Baird & Co.’s David Loeb.

Readers Bureau

Edited by Jesus Chan

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