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In an industry-transforming transaction, Marriott International today agreed to buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts for USD12.2 billion, creating the world’s biggest hotel company with 30 brands, 5500 properties and 1.1 million rooms in 100+ countries.

“The driving force behind this transaction is growth,” said Arne Sorenson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International.

“This is an opportunity to create value by combining the distribution and strengths of Marriott and Starwood, enhancing our competitiveness in a quickly evolving marketplace.”

Luxury hotel group Starwood, long under fire for sluggish growth and investor returns, has been conducting a strategic review that informed commentators believed would lead to sale such as this.

Bruce Duncan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, said:

“Our board concluded that a combination with Marriott provides the greatest long-term value for our shareholders and the strongest and most certain path forward for our company.”

See PR Newswire release.

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