Marriott International announced Monday that is is buying rival hotel chain Starwood for $12.2 billion, making Marriott the largest hotelier in the world with a global footprint with 5,500 properties in 100 countries, reaching an expansive traveler base.

In a letter to Marriott employees, Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson highlights all the benefits the deal with bring for shareholders, consumers, and employees. Sorenson notes that the merger will be a time-consuming process, and that integrating the two companies will not be a hindrance to the business.

Hello Marriott International Associates,

We just announced some exciting news and I wanted to make sure you were personally notified. Our company has agreed to acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts through a merger of both companies to create an exciting new Marriott International.
Today’s announcement is a transformational moment for our company. It is a culmination of the inspired work of associates, like you, who have built Marriott International into a diverse, strong company that can make a merger of this scale possible.
Marriott and Starwood, combined, will become the world’s largest hotel company with a unique ability to meet the varied needs of travelers, whatever their purpose and wherever they are in the world.

This union will also generate tremendous growth: growing value for shareholders, growing choices and benefits for consumers, growing economic advantages for our owners and franchisees, and growing opportunities for associates.

This integration will require a significant amount of work, but while the scale is much larger, we have successfully completed integrations before. We have always emerged stronger, and better positioned, to compete in a rapidly changing marketplace.

The team will guide the Starwood integration and ensure that it succeeds with minimal disruption to our business. We’ve appointed Peter Cole, currently Americas Chief Financial Officer, to the role of Managing Director, Business Integration. Peter is an accomplished Marriott International veteran with a successful track record of leading large and complex projects. Peter will head a cross-functional team addressing all aspects of the integration including systems, finance, benefits and sales.

We understand that you may have questions. We will answer what we know honestly and quickly. However, we do not have all of the answers right now. But I will commit to you that we will share information as it becomes available.

One thing we do know is that it will take several months for this deal to be completed, and it is subject to Marriott and Starwood shareholder approval and regulatory approvals. We’ll provide regular updates on the status of the merger and more information about engagement with Starwood between now and when the deal is closed.

Today is a day of celebration and pride for all of us. Thank you for all the incredible work you do to bring Marriott’s core value of putting people first to life.

Thank you,
LOGO
Arne Sorenson
President and CEO
Marriott International, Inc.

Photo Credit: Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson. Marriott