The all-cash bid by the China-led group presents a challenge for Marriott, which agreed to buy Starwood in November for $12.2 billion in cash and stock. Fred Katayama reports.
Homewrecker calling. Starwood Hotels & Resorts received a $12.8 billion unsolicited takeover bid from a consortium, and it's all cash. Leading that group: China's very acquisitive Anbang Insurance. That presents a challenge for Marriott, which struck a deal in November to buy Starwood for $12.2 billion in cash and stock. Marriott quickly reaffirmed its commitment to buy the owner of the W, Westin and Sheraton brands. For its part, Starwood's board says it has not changed its recommendation backing the deal with Marriott. Evercore ISI analyst Rich Hightower said, "Getting up to Anbang's offer of all cash could be attractive to shareholders and would imply probably some revision to Marriott's offer - whether more cash per share or a slightly more favorable exchange ratio." Anbang has been a busy acquirer of U.S. properties. Over the weekend, it agreed to pay $6.5 billion to Blackstone Group for Strategic Hotels & Resorts, a real estate investment trust that owns luxury hotels. And two years ago, it drew headlines when it bought New York City's famed Waldorf Astoria Hotel from Hilton. Marriott's waiver that allows Starwood to sniff around for other bids expires Thursday.