I was on a Cathay Pacific flight to Hong Kong on Friday when Starwood made an announcement that the board had decided in favor of the bid consortium lead by Anbang. Sebastian wrote a piece about the development (access here).
When in the Cathay’s Pier lounge, I decided to have couple of Moet Rose flutes in hope that Marriott’s counter bid will eventually fail. You can read my opinion about the proposed merger here.
Anbang is a Chinese insurance company with some strong ties to the “party”. They have made investments to the hotel sector lately by buying the Waldorf Astoria the other year and portfolio of hotels from Blackstone this month.
They could leave the Starwood as it is and consider it just a portfolio purchase. They could probably help with new hotel development in Greater China and Asia.
It will be interesting week to find out whether Marriott will come up with superior bid. The previous one was mainly issuance of new Marriott stock for Starwood shareholders with small cash component. The Anbang offer is pure cash.