Marriott, Starwood Receive Clearance from EU to Move Forward with Merger
Photo courtesy of Marriott International/Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide have cleared another significant hurdle in their journey to form the world's largest hotel company.
The two hotel giants announced Monday that they have received unconditional clearance from the European Union to move forward with their merger transaction.
"This is an important merger for the hotel industry and its customers," said the European Commission's Commissioner for Competition Margaret Vestager in a statement. "Our investigation confirmed that the hotel sector will remain competitive for customers in Europe following the merger, so I am pleased that the Commission was able to clear the transaction quickly."
Although receiving clearance from the EU represents a major closing condition, the two companies must still obtain additional antitrust clearances from China and other regions in addition to meeting other customary closing conditions if Marriott's acquisition of Starwood is to become official.
The companies said they anticipate the transaction will be completed next month. Until then, though, they will continue to operate as separate entities.
While a brief bidding war between Starwood and a consortium led by China's Anbang Insurance Group threatened to derail the impending merger, it's been mostly smooth sailing since both companies' stockholders overwhelmingly approved the deal on April 8.
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