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US: Marriott moves closer to acquiring Starwood hotels for $12.4 billion

 |  April 10, 2016

Marriott International has cleared one of its major hurdles on its journey to acquire rival Starwood and become the world’s largest hotel chain.

Shareholders in both Marriott and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide approved the $14.4 billion sale Friday.

The vote puts an end to a hectic month in which Marriott had to fend off a last-minute competing bid from China’s Anbang Insurance Group. After aggressively pursuing Starwood, Anbang suddenly withdrew its bid last week, clearing the path for Marriott.

The acquisition has already been approved by US antitrust regulators but still needs to clear authorities in the European Union and in China. The deal is expected to close in the middle of this year.

Last year, Starwood – the owner of the Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis brands – put itself on the market. The company has struggled to grow as fast as its rivals, particularly in “limited service hotels,” smaller properties which don’t have restaurants or meeting space.

Full content: The New York Times

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