Marriott International has just announced that it will buy Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in a cash and stock deal for $12.2 billion. This will create the world’s largest hotel chain and bring names like St. Regis, Westin, W, and Luxury Collection into the Marriott portfolio.
Starwood shareholders will receive 0.92 shares of Marriott Class A common stock and $2 in cash for each Starwood share held, CNBC reported.
Shareholders will receive an additional $7.80 per share from the timeshare portion of the business, which was sold separately at an estimated value of $1.3 billion.
Rumors have abounded about the sale for some time now, with names like InterContinental Hotels Group and Wyndham previously in talks to purchase the brand.
What will this mean for travelers? We’re not quite sure yet. The deal is expected to close by mid 2016, and likely will take some time thereafter for loyalty programs to merge. Starwood’s popular SPG (Starwood Preferred Guest) program is considered an industry leader, with amenities like suite upgrades and free breakfasts, while Marriott has always had the advantage in terms of number of properties.