China-based Anbang Insurance Group Co. surprisingly withdrew its $14bn bid for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc., citing undisclosed market conditions as a cause of the withdrawal. This withdrawal provides rival bidder Marriott International Inc., a clear opportunity to proceed with its offer for Starwood.
In a long-drawn battle between Anbang and Marriott to acquire Starwood, Anbang emerged the preferred bidder with its offer of $82.75 a share. The sudden withdrawal, leaves investors speculating the cause of it.
Investors and sources attributed the withdrawal to various reasons ranging from potential regulatory hurdles that Anbang could face to the reluctance of Anbang to enter into a protracted battle with a rival bidder to lack of clarity on how Anbang could finance the deal.
Marriott would now proceed with its cash-and-stock offer of $77.9 a share, based on Thursday’s closing prices, as Starwood’s shareholders are scheduled to vote on 8 April 2016 on the acquisition. The value excludes Starwood’s pending timeshare spinoff.