Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide (NYSE: HOT) today announced they have received unconditional clearance from the European Union for Marriott to acquire Starwood in a merger transaction.
In announcing the decision in a press release issued by the European Commission, the Commissioner for Competition, Margaret Vestager, said:
“This is an important merger for the hotel industry and its customers. Our investigation confirmed that the hotel sector will remain competitive for customers in Europe following the merger, so I am pleased that the Commission was able to clear the transaction quickly.”
The closing of the proposed merger is subject to obtaining additional antitrust clearances, including in China, and satisfying other customary closing conditions that are in the merger agreement.
European Union clearance represents satisfaction of a major closing condition to the proposed merger. Until legal close, the companies will continue to operate as separate and independent entities. Stockholders of both Marriott and Starwood overwhelmingly approved proposals related to the transaction on April 8 and Marriott and Starwood anticipate closing the transaction in July 2016.