Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (NYSE: HOT) today announced they have received unconditional clearance from the European Union for Marriott to acquire Starwood in a merger transaction.
In announcing the decision in a press release issued by the European Commission, the Commissioner for Competition, Margaret Vestager, said, “This is an important merger for the hotel industry and its customers. Our investigation confirmed that the hotel sector will remain competitive for customers in Europe following the merger, so I am pleased that the Commission was able to clear the transaction quickly.”
The closing of the proposed merger is subject to obtaining additional antitrust clearances, including in China, and satisfying other customary closing conditions that are in the merger agreement. European Union clearance represents satisfaction of a major closing condition to the proposed merger.
Until legal close, the companies will continue to operate as separate and independent entities.
Stockholders of both Marriott and Starwood overwhelmingly approved proposals related to the transaction on April 8 and Marriott and Starwood anticipate closing the transaction in July 2016.
Note on forward-looking statements
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of U.S. federal securities laws, including the parties’ plans for closing the transaction; plans and expectations; and anticipated future events and expectations that are not historical facts. We caution you that these statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to numerous risks and uncertainties, including the receipt of necessary consents, and other risk factors that we identify in in Marriott’s and Starwood’s most recent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and in the joint proxy statement / prospectus on Form S-4 that Marriott filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on February 16, 2016. Any of these factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the expectations we express or imply in this press release. We make these forward-looking statements as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.