Just as it releases earnings, Starwood is selling its vacation ownership business. And it could become the largest U.S. takeover by a Chinese company. Fred Katayama reports.
Starwood Hotels living up to its stock ticker name, HOT, as hot topic dejeur. First: Its quarterly profit fell due to the strong dollar but beat estimates. Second: deal making. CNBC reports Hyatt is in talks to buy Starwood for cash and stock. But it could face competition from Chinese suitors. A source says three Chinese companies are competing to bid for the owner of the Westin, Sheraton and St. Regis hotel brands: China's sovereign wealth fund, China Investment, lodging giant Shanghai Jin Jiang International Hotels, and airline and tourism giant, HNA. The Wall Street Journal says Beijing will choose who can bid so that the companies don't drive up the price by trying to outbid each other. It says Starwood could become the largest Chinese takeover of a U.S. company. But the Chinese will have to compete against rich Middle Eastern investors and other global firms. Separately, Starwood is selling its vacation ownership business. Interval Leisure Group will buy it for about $1.5 billion. Starwood shares rising in early trading, trimming its nearly 8 percent loss this year. Its stock has underperformed those of its rivals, Hilton and Marriott but outperformed Hyatt, which is also rising on the news.