Starwood Hotels & Resorts has received a rival takeover bid worth about $14 billion from a group of investors led by a Chinese firm that's been quite active in buying up U.S. hotel properties, including the Waldorf-Astoria.
On the news, which broke before Monday's opening bell, Starwood shares surged about 7 percent in early trading on Wall Street. The complex offer from the Chinese group values Starwood at $81.50 per share.
In November, Starwood entered into a merger agreement with Marriott International, under which Marriott would acquire Starwood in a $12.2 billion stock and cash transaction.
But Starwood has received a waiver from Marriott enabling it to engage in discussions with the investor group in connection with its proposal. The Marriott waiver expires Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET.