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Anbang drops bid to buy Starwood, clearing way for Marriott

FILE - This July 25, 2011, file photo, shows the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel, a member of the Starwood Hotels and Resorts group, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. A fight for control of the Starwood hotel chain is under way after a buyout offer from a consortium led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said Monday, March 14, 2016, that it still favors the bid from Marriott, but that it’s looking at the latest bid. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

Anbang says it’s dropping its $15 billion offer to acquire Starwood Hotels, citing various market considerations in ending a bidding war for the parent of St. Regis and Sheraton resorts.

The China-based insurer said that it won’t proceed further, sending Starwood shares down 4 percent in late trading Thursday.

Starwood Hotels, based in Stamford, Connecticut, said its board continues to support its existing deal with Marriott, which initially offered $12.2 billion for Starwood in November. That has since grown to more than $14 billion.

A representative for Marriott wasn’t immediately available to comment. The Bethesda, Maryland-based chain had reaffirmed its offer for Marriot earlier in the week, noting that the companies’ merger agreement offered shareholders a better deal. If completed, the combined company will be the world’s largest hotel chain.