China Closing On Largest Ever US Company Purchase

Posted: Mar 18, 2016 3:00 PM

According to Reuters, the operating company of Westin and Sheraton hotels, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc, is in the process of selling off the two hotel chains and is setting the stage for the largest ever deal by a Chinese company in the United States.

The two competitors for the deal, China's Anbang Insurance Group Co and Marriott International Inc, are racing against the clock to purchase the hotel chains for around $13 billion cash.  

The operator of Sheraton and Westin hotels said the Chinese insurer's offer beat Marriott's previously agreed cash and stock offer by nearly 15 percent, and that it planned to scrap the proposed deal with the rival hotel chain.

Anbang has been on a U.S. hotel buying spree as Chinese insurers rush to acquire high-yielding assets as they struggle to keep up with the policy liabilities of the country's aging population. U.S. assets are also seen as a good hedge against weakness in the Chinese yuan.

Dan Wasiolek, a hotel industry analyst at Morningstar, said Marriott still has a chance at counter offering.

"Marriott can increase their offer because they have the balance sheet flexibility," Wasiolek said.

This is a problem that Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has been warning people about for many years.  China is slowly but surely buying up major businesses in the United States and using their own currency to value the company which ultimately hurts the US market.