Chinese firm Anbang has swooped in and grabbed Starwood from Marriott.
Starwood has rejected a $12.2 billion buyout offer from Marriott in favor of Chinese insurance firm Anbang in a blockbuster deal reaching $14 billion.
Anbang boosted its offer by $370 million on Friday, creating the new staggering total and beating out Marriott for Starwood, which runs the Sheraton and Westin hotel brands, according to an Associated Press report.
Starwood had come to an agreement with Marriott and will now have to call it off, which will cost them $400 million.
It shows that Chinese companies are flexing their muscles in the world economy and snatching up U.S. assets that they see as a safer bet than a domestic investment. China’s Haier Group bought General Electric’s appliance business for $5.4 billion last year.
Anbang has been making inroads in the United States before this latest bid. The company bought the Waldorf Astoria in New York for nearly $2 billion in 2014. It also agreed to pay $6.5 billion for strategic Hotels & Resorts Inc., which runs several high-end properties.
Marriott can make another offer by March 28. The company said in a statement that it still thinks its offer is superior, but it would figure out what to do next.
If Starwood falls through, Marriott could potentially make another big move, as Hyatt Hotels has been rumored to be open to a merger or acquisition, according to the report. However, experts expect that Hyatt would want to take the lead.
“Marriott continues to believe that a combination of Marriott and Starwood is the best course for both companies and offers the best value to Starwood shareholders,” Marriott said in a statement. “Marriott is in the process of reviewing the Anbang consortium’s proposal and is carefully considering its alternatives. The company is considering postponing its Special Meeting of Stockholders which is currently scheduled for March 28, 2016. Marriott has no further public comment at this time.”