For the past month there have been rumors floated around the financial press that InterContinental Hotels Group, Wyndham or Blackstone Group, the owner of Hilton and La Quinta will take over Starwood Hotels. Now there are stories that Starwood Hotels will buy IHG. Either way, the stories are coming fast and hard that Wall Street predicts Starwood Hotels will be part of a buyout or merger.
Loyalty Traveler – Starwood Hotels merger speculation with Wyndham or IHG in Bloomberg news (April 17).
The issue seems to be Starwood Hotels underperforming in the stock market compared to Hilton and Marriott.
Here are some of the Bloomberg headlines fueling this story over the past two weeks.
Bloomberg News – Starwood Hotels Is Giving Activists Reason to Check In (April 16). Article discusses possible merger with IHG or Wyndham or buyout by Blackstone Group.
Bloomberg News – Starwood Jumps as Hotel Operator Plans to Explore Options (April 29) Starwood stock rises the most in five years to $87.53. Stock is up 16% in past year compared to 41% gain for Hilton and 46% gain for Marriott. IHG stock jumped after Starwood announced it is exploring options on the speculation there may be an IHG merger with Starwood.
Reuters – UPDATE 2-Starwood Hotels exploring strategic alternatives; profit beats April 29. An analyst cited with statement, “The mostly likely scenario is to put up the company for sale”. Starwood has a market cap around $14 billion.