European Union Approves Marriott – Starwood Merger

Marriott and Starwood’s $13 billion deal is another step closer to becoming final as the European Union gave the two hospitality giants antitrust clearance on Monday.

The massive deal, which was announced late last year, will increase Marriott’s overall inventory by about 50%, and may give Marriott Vacation Club members more lodging options in the future. Most notably, famous Starwood brands like Sheraton, Westin, and St. Regis, will now exclusively fall under the Marriott brand.

Although the EU has cleared the Marriott – Starwood merger of any antitrust law violations, there are several steps the two companies need to take before making the deal official. China, along with other nations, need to give the deal the green light in order for closing processes to begin. Both Marriott and Starwood expect the deal to be done next month, but until then, they will remain as separate entities.

Shareholders are carefully watching the deal, though, as stock markets around the world continue to fluctuate. As part of the deal, Starwood shareholders stand to gain 0.8 shares of Marriott stock, which valued the deal at $13.6 billion. However, in the aftermath of the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the EU, Marriott’s stock dipped (along with many, many others), bringing the total value of the deal down to $12.2 billion.

What does this all mean for vacation ownership? For Marriott owners, only time will tell. However, Starwood timeshare owners will likely not be affected by the merger, as Starwood Vacation Ownership (now Vistana Signature Experiences), has been acquired by Interval International. For more news on the merger, visit the Marriott website.