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Starwood may be close to finding its elusive strategic alternative: CNBC reports that Hyatt Hotels is in advanced talks to acquire the larger Starwood Hotels, although no formal offer has yet been made.
CNBC says a formal offer could come in a week or two.
Hyatt’s interest in acquiring Starwood, which owns brands ranging from Westin and Sheraton to St. Regis, follows a Wall Street Journal story yesterday that three Chinese companies are separately actively pursuing a Starwood acquisition.
CNBC says a Hyatt acquisition of Starwood would be a cash and stock deal with an acquisition price as yet unknown.
Both Starwood and Hyatt, which is controlled by the Pritzker family, are public companies. CNBC reports that Hyatt’s management team would be in charge of the combined company.
Hyatt’s entry into the Starwood sweepstakes comes as a surprise since Hyatt, with a market cap of $7.46 billion today, is a much smaller chain than Starwood, which boasts a $13.58 billion market cap.
Starwood announced in April that it would be mulling strategic alternatives, having earlier seen the surprise resignation of CEO Frits van Paasschen. InterContinental Hotels Group had earlier been involved in discussions with Starwood but IHG announced weeks ago that it was dropping out.
The CNBC report is in full, above.