Report: Hyatt in Talks to Buy Starwood Hotels

Hyatt Hotels Corp is in talks to buy U.S. hotel operator Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide Inc, CNBC reported, citing sources.

Under a cash and stock offer, Hyatt management would retain control of the combined company, CNBC said on Wednesday.

Hyatt declined to comment, while Starwood did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

China's sovereign wealth fund and two big Chinese companies had expressed interest in Starwood Hotels, joining other suitors from around the world, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Starwood is valued at about $12.75 billion while Hyatt has a valuation of about $7.23 billion.

Starwood had reached out to potential bidders including InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, Wyndham Worldwide Corp and sovereign wealth funds in July, three months after it decided to explore a sale, sources told Reuters.

Interval Leisure Group said on Wednesday it would buy Starwood Hotels' vacation ownership business, which it valued at about $1.5 billion.

Starwood, which owns the St. Regis and Sheraton hotel brands, also on Wednesday reported a better-than-expected third-quarter profit, driven by higher occupancy rates.

Shares of Hyatt were up 4.2 percent at $52.55 while Starwood was up 9.2 percent at $81.67 in early trading.