If you haven’t been reading business news over the past few months, you might not have been following the bidding between Marriott and a rival, Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd., to takeover the Starwood hotel chain, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.
The two rival bidders each sweetened the pot after Marriott’s initial bid late last year, but in the end it appears Marriott will pull off the deal. The company’s shareholders are scheduled to vote on Friday, and both companies are recommending approval.
What’s interesting to me is that there has been little local reporting on the Marriott-Starwood buyout, despite its obvious impact on the state’s largest industry.
Here are the brands associated with the two chains, which will boast a combined total of about 5,500 hotels and 1.1 million guest rooms in over 100 countries.
About Marriott International, Inc.
Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is a global leading lodging company based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, with more than 4,400 properties in 87 countries and territories. Marriott International reported revenues of more than $14 billion in fiscal year 2015. The company operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts under 19 brands, including: The Ritz-Carlton®, Bulgari®, EDITION®, JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott Hotels®, Delta Hotels and Resorts®, Marriott Executive Apartments®, Marriott Vacation Club®, Gaylord Hotels®, AC Hotels by Marriott®, Courtyard®, Residence Inn®, SpringHill Suites®, Fairfield Inn & Suites®, TownePlace Suites®, Protea Hotels® and MoxyHotels®. Marriott has been consistently recognized as a top employer and for its superior business ethics. The company also manages the award-winning guest loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® program, which together comprise nearly 55 million members. For more information or reservations, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with nearly 1,300 properties in some 100 countries and over 188,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences under the renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®,Tribute Portfolio™, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, Element®, along with an expanded partnership with Design Hotels™. The company also boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®). Visit www.starwoodhotels.com for more information and stay connected @starwoodbuzz on Twitter and Instagram and facebook.com/Starwood.
Read through the list of hotel brands and you’ll see how many properties in Hawaii will be impacted by the merger. In those areas where the two companies hotels are clustered together, it can be expected to have an increased impact.
But you wouldn’t know if from the lack of local attention to the deal and its possible implications.
A search of the Star-Advertiser’s archives found several wire service stories about the deal, but no local reporting, although given the vagaries of the search engine, some might have been missed.
A similar search at Pacific Business News turned up a local story published last week, “Marriott-Starwood merger could affect Hawaii radius restrictions“.
In Hawaii, the deal would combine nine Starwood hotel properties, including the Sheraton Waikiki and The Royal Hawaiian, with Marriott’s 17 hotel and time-share properties, including the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort & Spa.
I wonder whether such a deal will reduce competition and result in higher prices in Hawaii? Will the merger lead to reductions in executive staff, or a consolidation of suppliers? Will there be some properties jettisoned by the new conglomerate? Lots of questions, little initiative on the part of local media.