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Tara Lachapelle

Marriott Merger Gets Four Out of Five Stars

Marriott had to fend off rivals and sweeten its bid to win Starwood Hotels. In 20/20 hindsight, it was worth it.
Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Marriott International Inc. hitched its wagon to a Starwood. Now it's reaping the rewards. 

This week marks the two-year anniversary of when Marriott announced its largest acquisition ever -- Starwood Hotels -- a deal that helped the hotel behemoth increase its number of properties globally by 40 percent to about 6,400 today and seize a larger share of the travel profit pool. It had to fend off a Chinese interloper (Anbang Insurance Group) and sweeten its bid along the way, but the transaction eventually closed in September 2016 for a grand total of about $14 billion.