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Marriott to Buy Starwood for $12.2 Billion

This morning it was announced that Marriott International plans to purchase Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in a cash and stock deal valued at $12.2 billion to create the world's largest hotel chain. Speaking to CNBC, Marriott CEO & President, Arne Sorenson says that the global piece of this particularly powerful. “By pulling together Marriott Rewards and SPG – these are two of the leading loyalty programs in industry – we can put these together be able to spend that much more on technology and marketing and other things,” he revealed.

FORTUNE magazine states that the deal comes after reports that several Chinese firms had interest in bidding for Starwood, in what would have been the largest-ever takeover of a U.S. company by a Chinese one. Hyatt Hotels also was said to have submitted an offer.
Once Marriott’s deal for Starwood is closed, the combined company—to be led by Sorenson—would feature around 1.1 million rooms in 5,500 properties in more than 100 countries. Combined pro forma fee revenue is expected to top $2.7 billion. According to Reuters, after the transaction closes, the company is expected to add three Starwood members to its board, which will expand to 14 members.

Sorenson told CNBC  that company officials were "dissuaded" at first. "But as the months went by, we saw a relative shift in the values of the company, so it made it more attractive economically, and we became convinced that there was more value that could be created with the two companies together."

The deal is expected to close in mid-2016.

RELATED NEWS: Read an exclusive interview with Starwood CIO, Martha Poulter, "Starwood Opens the Door to Next-Gen Engagement."
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