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Marriott Wins Battle to Buy Starwood - WSJ

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"Marriott’s deal to buy Starwood comes as the hotel industry is enjoying a five-year boom. Room rates and occupancy levels hover near all-time highs across the U.S."

Marriott said Monday it agreed to pay $2 in cash and 0.92 of its own shares for each Starwood share, which would value the hospitality giant at $72.08 a share.

Starwood was in separate talks to sell itself to Hyatt, and the companies were near an agreement last week, according to people familiar with the matter. Hyatt sweetened its bid Friday after being informed Marriott had outbid it, the people said.

The two hotel groups were offering similar prices, the people said, but Starwood’s board preferred Marriott’s stock as currency over that of Hyatt, which is controlled by the Pritzker family through special shares that give it 75% of the voting power.

Hyatt agreed to changes to its governance to address Starwood’s concerns, including eliminating the supervoting shares for a period of time, one of the people said.

​But Starwood remained leery of the Pritzkers’ control and felt that a combination with Marriott, which has more brands across more price points than Hyatt, would be more diversified, this person said.

I guess the hotel industry is doing well because the economy is doing well?

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