Marriott to buy Starwood

There have been ongoing rumours about a sale of Starwood over the past few months. Tonight, it has been announce that Marriott is going to takeover the Starwood group. The case and stock deal is said to be worth over 12 billion US dollars (AUD $17 billion), and is set to create the worlds largest hotel chain.

There have been suggestions that the buyer could be IHG or Hyatt, and I have to confess, that in some respects, news that it is Marriott seems to have come from left field.

This is what the Marriott Press Release says:

Marriott International, Inc. and Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide, Inc. announced today that the boards of directors of both
companies have unanimously approved a definitive merger agreement under
which the companies will create the world’s largest hotel company.  The
transaction combines Starwood’s leading lifestyle brands and
international footprint with Marriott’s strong presence in the luxury
and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort segment,
creating a more comprehensive portfolio.  The merged company will offer
broader choice for guests, greater opportunities for associates and
should unlock additional value for Marriott and Starwood shareholders.
Combined, the companies operate or franchise more than 5,500 hotels with
1.1 million rooms worldwide.  The combined company’s pro forma fee
revenue for the 12 months ended September 30, 2015 totals over $2.7
billion.

From a rewards perspective, there has been no word on how this will be impacted – indeed, any change is probably a way down the track. Comparing the two programs, Marriott Rewards has 54 million members while Starwood Preferred Guest comes in with 21 million members.

It remains to be seen if they merge the two programs, but one could imagine that over time they will look toward doing that.

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