A Chinese consortium led by Anbang Insurance Group has mounted a challenge to Marriott International’s bid for rival hotelier Starwood with an offer of US$14 billion, The Guardian reported. The Marriott cash and shares deal for the owner of the W and Sheraton chains agreed upon in November was originally worth US$12 billion, but has dropped to a value of US$10.8 billion as the US firm’s share price slipped. “Anbang’s non-binding offer places Starwood shareholders in the difficult position of choosing between Marriott’s bird-in-a-hand firm commitment and Anbang’s two-in-the-bush offer,” said Nomura Securities analyst Harry Curtis.
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