Anbang has fired a new shot in the fiercest bidding war dealmakers have seen in recent years, after the Chinese insurer raised its bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts to $14bn in its latest effort to trump a rival offer from Marriott International.
Starwood said on Monday that it was in talks with Anbang after the acquisitive Chinese insurer sweetened its all-cash offer to $82.75 per share, a non-binding proposal the US hotel operator said it was likely to consider superior to Marriott’s offer.
The new bid is $4.75 per share higher than the one Anbang made on March 18, and tops Marriott’s latest cash-and-stock offer, which was worth $78.12 at Monday morning’s share price.
Starwood, which owns the Sheraton, W Hotels and Westin brands, stressed that its board was still backing a merger with Marriott, however. The US group first agreed to acquire Starwood for $12.2bn back in November, but increased its cash-and-stock bid to $13.6bn last week in response to Anbang’s pursuit.
Starwood’s decision to hold on to the Marriott agreement highlights its resistance in accepting Anbang’s offer amid Chinese reports that Anbang’s US deals were at risk of being blocked by local regulators.
Caixin, a respected non-state controlled Chinese financial magazine, reported last week that the China Insurance Regulatory Commission could use a rule that prevents insurance companies from investing more than 15 per cent of their total assets abroad to block the deal.
People close to the Chinese company, which last year acquired the Waldorf Astoria in New York for $1.95bn without regulatory hurdles, said the report overstated the risks that the watchdog would block the deal. Another person said that Anbang had finance in places to close the deal.
However, Anbang, which is bidding for Starwood together with China’s Primavera Capital and US private equity group JC Flowers, has yet to disclose how it plans to finance the deal.
It unclear whether Marriott will make a counter-offer. After Anbang crashed Marriott’s deal with its $78-per-share offer few analysts or people involved in the negotiations believed that the US hotel operator would top the Chinese bid.
However, during a historic trip with US President Barack Obama to Havana on March 21, Marriott’s chief executive Arne Sorenson and his Starwood counterpart Thomas Mangas hammered out the terms of a fresh deal that beat Anbang’s bid.
For Marriott winning the battle against Anbang is crucial for the company’s future, as a deal with Starwood would turn it into the world’s largest hotel operator with a portfolio of 1.1m rooms in more than 5,500 hotels.
Marriott said it remained committed to its agreement with Starwood, adding its offer would create greater long-term value driven by a larger global footprint.
On March 21, Marriott offered $21 in cash and 0.80 of its own shares for each Starwood share. Marriott and Starwood shareholders are due to vote on this deal on April 8.
However, Anbang’s founder and politically well-connected chairman, Wu Xiaohui, is also determined to expand the insurer’s portfolio outside of China.
Over the past two years, Anbang has been on an acquisitions binge, agreeing more than $32bn worth of deals. The latest include the $6.5bn bid for Strategic Hotels and Resorts, the $1.6bn acquisition of US insurer Fidelity & Guaranty Life, and $1bn for a 63 per cent stake in Tong Yang Life Insurance of South Korea.
安邦(Anbang)在交易撮合者几年来目睹的最激烈竞购战中打响新的一枪，这家中国保险商将其对喜达屋酒店及度假村(Starwood Hotels & Resorts)的收购报价提高至140亿美元，这是安邦压倒万豪国际(Marriott International)报价的最新尝试。
然而，正与中国春华资本集团(Primavera Capital Group)和美国私人股本集团JC Flowers联手竞购喜达屋的安邦，至今没有披露它计划如何为这笔交易买单。
然而，3月21日，在随同美国总统巴拉克?奥巴马(Barack Obama)对哈瓦那展开历史性访问期间，万豪首席执行官阿恩?索伦森(Arne Sorenson)和喜达屋首席执行官托马斯?曼加斯(Thomas Mangas)敲定了一项击败安邦出价的新协议的条款。
在过去两年里，安邦掀起了一股收购热潮，总共达成逾320亿美元的交易。最新的交易包括65亿美元收购Strategic Hotels and Resorts，16亿美元收购美国保险商美国信保人寿(Fidelity & Guaranty Life)，以及10亿美元购得韩国东洋人寿(Tong Yang Life Insurance) 63%股权。