Merger speculation surrounding Starwood began back in April when Starwood Chairman Bruce Duncan noted that a strategic review was occurring and that “no option for increasing shareholder value” was off the table. Former CEO Frits van Paasschen had resigned just a few months earlier and speculation was that he was not interested in a merger. In an investment note yesterday, MKM Partners analyst Chris Agnew added to the speculation with these thoughts:
“Starwood could buy La Quinta or there’s always private money in Asia,” he said. “I think a merger with InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) makes the most sense because of geographical overlap. And InterContinental has higher-end properties, as does Starwood.”
TheStreet notes that Agnew also points to tax advantages from a merger between InterContinental and Starwood, as InterContinental is headquartered in the United Kingdom.
What are your thoughts? Would you support an IHG/Starwood merger? I love the SPG program and value their hotel points above most others. I also love their airline transfers. On the other hand, while I use IHG Rewards strategically, it doesn’t come close to the benefits I receive with Starwood and I never feel that my status is recognized in the same way.