Four months after cinching a buyout deal with rival Marriott (MAR), Starwood (HOT) says it's received a nonbinding proposal from an unnamed "consortium of companies" at $76/share in cash, or $12.8B and versus MAR's largely stock deal initially valued at $12.2B but currently worth closer to $11B, or $65.38/share. MAR has agreed to allow HOT to talk and exchange information with the new suitor. WSJ reported in October that at least 3 Chinese companies were competing to get Beijing's approval to bid for HOT. Discussions between HOT and the consortium began Friday and can continue through Thursday. For now, HOT's board continues to back the MAR deal, but cash could well prove more enticing that MAR shares which have been trending lower for a year now.
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