China Holding Up Marriott-Starwood Merger

BETHESDA, MD — Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced that, at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), they have agreed to extend the time period for MOFCOM to complete its review of the Marriott-Starwood merger transaction. This additional review period, known as phase three, could last up to 60 days.

Marriott and Starwood said it believes their planned merger transaction poses no anti-competitive issues in China. Approval by China’s Ministry of Commerce is the only remaining merger clearance required before the transaction may close. The companies have received unconditional premerger clearances from regulatory authorities representing over 40 countries worldwide, including the United States, the European Union, Canada, Chile, Colombia, India, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, and Turkey.

Once China approves the deal, the merger will close between Marriott and Starwood.

Anbang Insurance Group of China attempted to outbid Marriott to buy Starwood last March but mysteriously withdrew its offer after making a $14 billion bid.