Months after Marriott and Starwood announced plans to merge; Chinese regulators have finally given the required go ahead for the merger. The deal, said to be worth nearly $14 Billion, was announced back in April and is expected to conclude before the New York market opens on Friday, September 23rd (tomorrow).
Approval from the China’s Ministry of Commerce was the last obstacle to the Marriott and Starwood Merger after regulators in several countries and jurisdictions of the world including the European Union (EU), US, Saudi Arabia and Mexico, had all given their necessary approvals.
The initial bidding war for the Starwood brand was between Marriott and China’s Anbang insurance company but the former forged ahead when the latter dropped out of the race. When complete, the emerging brand will assume the crown of the largest hotel chain in the world, with 5500 hotels (about 1.1 million rooms), spread out over nearly 30 brands and over 500,000 employees.
While there may still be teething issues with merging the companies different cultures into a unified brand and their respective loyalty programs into one (the joint loyalty program won’t be ready until 2018), this approval sets the required processes in motion the rest of the merger.