Marriott’s takeover of Starwood Hotels should have closed by now but the Chinese regulators require more time to clear the purchase and the process can take an additional 60 days.
European Union and the US among other countries have not objected to the deal and Marriott expects China to eventually come to the same conclusion.
Here’s the announcement from Marriott:
BETHESDA, Md., Aug. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced that, at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), they have agreed to extend the time period for MOFCOM to complete its review of the Marriott-Starwood merger transaction. This additional review period, known as phase three, could last up to 60 days.
Marriott and Starwood continue to believe that their planned merger transaction poses no anti-competitive issues in China. Approval by China’s Ministry of Commerce is the only remaining merger clearance required before the transaction may close. The companies have received unconditional premerger clearances from regulatory authorities representing over 40 countries worldwide, including the United States, the European Union, Canada, Chile, Colombia, India, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey.
Just a slight delay before Marriott can close the Starwood purchase and start combining the chains and loyalty programs. Marriott has earlier indicated that it doesn’t plan loyalty program integration before 2018.