5 things to know: 14 March 2016
 
5 things to know: 14 March 2016
14 MARCH 2016 9:44 AM

From the desks of the Hotel News Now editorial staff:

  • Starwood receives unsolicited bid from Anbang
  • Blackstone rumored to sell Strategic to Anbang
  • Starwood Capital to invest €500m in Spanish hotels
  • Fed eyes hiking interest rates again soon
  • Oil returns to below $40 a barrel

Starwood receives unsolicited bid from Anbang: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide reported Monday it received an unsolicited bid from a consortium of companies to purchase all of Starwood’s outstanding share of common stock for $76 per share in cash, according to a news release from Starwood. In a separate news release, Marriott International reaffirmed its commitment to moving forward with its merger with Starwood. That release named Anbang Insurance Group as the leader of potential investors for the consortium. Anbang made a name for itself when it purchased the Waldorf Astoria in New York City in 2014 for $2 billion.

The news of the unsolicited bid comes weeks before shareholders for Starwood and Marriott are scheduled to vote on the potential merger of the two companies on 28 March. In its release, Marriott stated it granted Starwood a waiver to perform its due diligence on the offer from the consortium.

In their respective news releases, both Starwood and Marriott indicated plans to continue with the deal, which was announced 16 November and is expected to close in mid-2016. Starwood stated its board of directors has not changed it recommendation to support the merger.

Blackstone rumored to sell Strategic to Anbang: Blackstone Group is reported to be selling Strategic Hotels & Resorts to Anbang Insurance Group, the Wall Street Journal reports. Citing unnamed sources, the newspaper reports the two companies are near a deal.

While the Wall Street Journal reports the price of the transaction couldn’t be determined, Bloomberg reports Strategic will sell for $6.5 billion. Blackstone announced it would purchase Strategic for approximately $6 billion in September 2015 and completed the deal in December.

Starwood Capital to invest €500m in Spanish hotels: Starwood Capital Group announced Monday it will partner with hotel investment and asset management firm HI Partners in a joint venture to invest €500 million ($555 million) in the Spanish hospitality market, according to a news release

Starwood Capital would own 70% of the joint venture company, according to the release. HI Partners, a subsidiary of Spanish bank Banc Sabadell, would act as the manager of the joint venture. The companies would target 3- and 4-star leisure hotels with more than 200 rooms in Spain’s primary tourist markets and possibly consider special investment projects in high-quality urban hotels. The joint venture is subject to the approval of the European Union Merger Control Office.

Fed eyes hiking interest rates again soon: While the Federal Reserve won’t raise U.S. interest rates this week, the Fed will raise them again despite global economic weakness, according to Reuters.

As U.S. inflation and jobs continue to strengthen since the Fed last raised rates in December 2015, the Fed has signaled it will raise rates again two or three more times this year, the news agency reports. The next rate hike could occur mid-year, according to Reuters.

Oil prices return to below $40 a barrel: Oil fell about 3% Monday following comments from Iran’s oil minister stating the country would only join the output freeze group once it reached production of 4 million barrels a day, Reuters reports.

Iran will reach the 2 million barrels per day for exporting by March 19, the news agency reports, which is an increase from 1.75 million barrels per day a month ago.

A research note from investment bank Morgan Stanley stated that a slowing global economy and high production would prevent any sharp rises in prices, Reuters reports.

Compiled by Bryan Wroten.

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