Anbang bids $12.9bn for Starwood Hotels

The Chinese insurer made an unsolicited takeover proposal for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide as it also agreed to buy Blackstone’s Strategic Hotels for around $6.5 billion.

China’s Anbang Insurance Group has made a $12.9 billion unsolicited takeover bid for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which is in the process of being taken over by Marriott International. The proposal came as the insurance company also agreed to a $6.5 billion hotel deal with The Blackstone Group.

Anbang Insurance led a consortium of investors that offered $76 in cash for the Greenwich, Connecticut-based hotel company’s stock, Starwood said Monday. That offer values Starwood at $12.9 billion. In November, Marriott’s offer for Starwood valued the company at $72.08 per share, valuing Starwood at $12.2 billion.

In a statement Monday, Starwood said it was considering which bid would best serve the company and its shareholders. If Starwood accepted Anbang Insurance’s takeover offer, it would pay Marriott a $400 million termination fee, according to a Monday statement from Marriott.

The announcement comes as Anbang Insurance makes further inroads in Western hotels. On Monday, PERE reported that the insurance company is buying Strategic Hotels & Resorts from Blackstone, the New York-based alternative asset manager, in what will be the largest ever platform-level acquisition in the US hospitality sector by a Chinese company.

Blackstone declined to comment but sources close to the deal confirmed the news to PERE.

The US luxury resort company Strategic is the owner and asset manager of 16 hotels and resorts across the country spread over 807,000 square feet. The company was sold only three months after Blackstone acquired it at a total transaction value of $6 billion via its $15.8 billion Blackstone Real Estate Partners VIII fund.

Anbang Insurance was also at the helm of the largest acquisition of a US property asset by a Chinese company back in 2014 when it acquired the iconic Waldorf Astoria hotel from the Hilton Group for around $1.95 billion in October. The insurer made headlines with the approximately $1.4 million price it paid per room for the New York hotel.

Chinese insurance companies have been a significant part of the growing wave of Chinese capital flocking to international real estate markets in a bid to diversify their property holdings and reduce exposure in an uncertain domestic economy. Over the next five years, insurers from the mainland are expected to spend as much as $73 billion in overseas property acquisitions, according to a report published by Cushman & Wakefield in November.