Just days after backing away from the offer, Starwood Hotels & Resorts has agreed to a revised merger with Marriott as the chains prepare to enter Cuba.
The deal, valued at $13.6 billion, is expected to close in mid-2016, according to a statement from Starwood. On March 18, Starwood said that it was considering an offer from a consortium, consisting of Anbang Insurance Group Co., Ltd., J.C. Flowers & Co. and Primavera Capital Limited, over the Marriott proposal; in its most recent statement, Starwood stated that the consortium’s offer no longer constituted a ‘Superior Proposal’ to Marriott’s latest offer.
The announcement comes following Starwood’s approval by the U.S. government to expand its operations to Cuba, the first U.S.-based hospitality business to receive such authorization in 60 years. Starwood has signed deals for three hotels in the country; Cuba’s Hotel Inglaterra will join The Luxury Collection and Hotel Quinta Avenida will become a Four Points by Sheraton. Both hotels will undergo renovations before raising their new brand flags later in 2016. Starwood also announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent to convert the famed Hotel Santa Isabel into a member of The Luxury Collection.
Shortly after Starwood’s approval, Marriott was also cleared to do business in Cuba, with the company stating that it is “in discussions to develop a hospitality relationship with potential partners.”
The news coincides with U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba this weekend, marking the first time in 80 years that a sitting U.S. president has travelled to the country.