Starwood, which owns the Sheraton and Westin hotel brands, plans to accept a buyout offer from China's Anbang and end its previous deal with Marriott. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Chinese insurer Anbang breaking up the engagement between Starwood and Marriott. Starwood plans to accept its offer of $13 billion dollars or $78 a share in cash. That's about 15 percent higher than Marriott's bid, too high for Sheraton and Westin owner Starwood to pass up. Morningstar's Dan Wasiolek says at that price, Starwood made the right move. But, he says, Marriott would've made a better partner. (SOUNDBITE) DAN WASIOLEK, SENIOR EQUITY ANALYST, MORNINGSTAR (ENGLISH) SAYING: "It is a better strategic fit, for Starwood and for Marriott. What it essentially does is it makes the combined company the largest hotel operator by number of rooms in the world. It would have 1.1 million rooms which would be above Intercontinental and Hilton which are around 750 - 800 thousand rooms. and also would combine two very large loyalty programs and take Marriott's 18 brands and grow that to thirty brands." Marriot has until March 28th to make a counter offer, which many analysts, including Wasiolek, believe will happen. Anbang has been on an acquisitive streak. It struck a $6.5 billion deal last week for Strategic Hotels & Resorts and bought New York's iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel last year for $2 billion.