PhotoThe name of the game these days is consolidation -- merger, in other words. And in that vein, Marriott International says it will snap up Starwood Hotels & Resorts World Inc., for about $12 billion.

The companies say the merger will create a “more comprehensive portfolio,” consisting of more than 5,500 hotels with 1.1 million rooms worldwide. Revenue is estimated at $2.7 billion.

“We have competed with Starwood for decades and we have also admired them. I’m excited we will add great new hotels to our system and for the incredible opportunities for Starwood and Marriott associates.  I’m delighted to welcome Starwood to the Marriott family,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Marriott International.

In a news release, the companies said that the boards of directors of both firms had unanimously approved the merger, saying it would "combine Starwood’s leading lifestyle brands and international footprint with Marriott’s strong presence in the luxury and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort segment."

Starwood hotel brands include Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, St. Regis, W, and Meridien. There's no word yet on what effect the merger will have on the companies' traveler loyalty programs. 

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