Shareholders approve Marriott-Starwood merger


The Sheraton Stamford Hotel

AT separate meetings that took place last Friday, shareholders of Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide have given the green light for Marriott to acquire Starwood, bringing the creation of the world’s largest hospitality company one step closer to fruition.

This is a crucial step in the merger process, which had seen interference from a third entity led by China’s Anbang Insurance Group, leading to a short but intense bidding war for Starwood.

Now with holders of over 95 per cent of Starwood shares voting in favor of the deal with Marriott last week, the merger is only a few regulatory approvals away from becoming reality.

Pre-merger antitrust reviews in the US, Canada and multiple other jurisdictions have already been cleared while approvals in the European Union and China are currently being processed.

Commenting on the shareholder meetings, Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s president and CEO, said: “With the successful stockholder approval milestone, we are that much closer to completing our transaction. Our teams continue to plan the integration of our two companies, and we are committed to a timely and smooth transition.”

As of Friday’s closing numbers, Starwood stockholders will receive 0.8 shares of Marriott common stock plus US$21 in cash for each share of Starwood common stock.

The transaction remains on track to close by mid-2016.

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