As global concerns mount about the strength of the Chinese economy and domestic capital flees the country, China's Anbang Insurance Group is making a major push for U.S. assets.
On Friday, Starwood Hotels announced that a consortium led by Anbang had made a revised bid for the company at $78 per share in cash, or about $13.2 billion in total. Starwood's board had determined that proposal was "superior" to its pending merger agreement with Marriott. When it was announced last year, the merger between the two American companies was worth $12.2 billion.
Anbang's aggressive expansion into the U.S. hospitality industry may be related to the ongoing wave of capital flight out of China and into North American real estate, but it's also tied to the company's long-term business goals, people familiar with the matter told CNBC.
News broke Monday the Anbang-led consortium had made an unsolicited bid for Starwood, and CNBC confirmed last week that the same Chinese company had agreed to buy Strategic Hotels & Resorts from Blackstone for $6.5 billion.
The Beijing-based company also concluded a deal last year to acquire New York's Waldorf Astoria for $1.95 billion. American hotels, especially Starwood, are an appealing asset for Anbang because they can offer long-term cash flow and have strong brand recognition, the people said.