(CBN Global) March 29 -- Anbang Insurance Group Inc. has raised its bid for Starwood Hotels for a third time, offering USD14.15 billion, in a sign of its determination to acquire the US hotel operator.
Starwood will decide at a shareholders' meeting whether to accept Anbang's offer or a rival bid from Marriott International Inc. [NASDAQ:MAR]. Anbang and Marriott have repeatedly counter bid one another.
Anbang's last offer was USD13.2 billion. The Beijing-based insurer has increased its offer from USD76 a share to USD78 and now to USD82.75. That is still lower than Marriott's at USD85.36 a share.
The insurer began making overseas acquisitions in October 2014, famously buying New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel from Hilton for USD1.95 billion. Earlier this month, it agreed to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts from Blackstone Group for USD6.5 billion, marking the highest price paid by a mainland Chinese buyer for a real estate asset in the US. If Anbang acquired Starwood, it would set a record price paid by a mainland Chinese buyer for a US property.
Chinese insurance industry regulations state that overseas investments by the nation's insurers may not exceed "15 percent of total assets held at the end of the previous year." To comply, Anbang's total assets in 2015 would need to have been at least CNY1.14 trillion (USD175.1 billion). It assets stand at CNY1.9 trillion.