The Chinese Government Is Bailing Out Anbang (Which Was Going To Buy Starwood)

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Any Starwood loyalist surely remembers late 2015 and early 2016, when we had no clue what the future of Starwood would look like. At the time there was a bidding war between Chinese conglomerate Anbang and Marriott, both of which wanted to acquire Starwood. There was a bidding war, and it looked like Marriott taking over Starwood was a sure thing, then it looked like Anbang taking over Starwood was a sure thing, and then eventually Anbang withdrew their offer.

Many Starwood loyalists (myself included) were hoping Anbang would win out in this bidding war, since it would leave the best chance of Starwood remaining an independent company. In many ways, we preferred the “evil” we didn’t know over the “evil” we did know. I put “evil” in quotes because I don’t think Marriott is actually evil, but rather because I felt like Starwood would lose its identity under their ownership.

We still don’t know what the future of Marriott and Starwood will look like, though there’s an interesting update about the alternative. Anbang has been doing horribly financially (like many Chinese conglomerates). The government had already sized control of them in February, with the former chairman being on trial for fraud and embezzlement.