Chinese Regulators Put Marriott-Starwood Merger on Hold
Photo courtesy of Marriott International and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.
China has put the brakes on Marriott International's acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide.
Marriott announced Monday that it has agreed to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce's (MOFCOM) request to extend its transaction review period for up to 60 days.
The move is significant in that the MOFCOM's approval is the only remaining hurdle for Marriott in completing the regulatory clearance process required to finalize the $13.6 billion merger.
Prior to Monday's announcement, Marriott expected to have all of its necessary reviews completed by Tuesday, according to last month's second quarter earnings call. However the Bethesda, Maryland-based company may have to wait for an additional two months now.
"Marriott and Starwood continue to believe that their planned merger transaction poses no anti-competitive issues in China," the companies said in a statement Monday.
Despite the setback, Marriott and Starwood have received unconditional premerger clearances from regulatory authorities in more than 40 countries, including the U.S. and the European Union, among others.
Currently, Marriott has 99 hotels in China, with an additional 150 in its pipeline. Meanwhile, Starwood boasts a whopping 283 properties in China.
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