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Breaking News from CNBC’s David Faber: Starwood Reaches Deal with Anbang for $78/Share - Sources

WHEN: Today, Friday, March 18th

WHERE: CNBC's "Squawk Box"

Following is the unofficial transcript of breaking news from CNBC's David Faber on "Squawk Box" (M-F, 6AM-9AM ET) today, Friday, March 18th. Following is a link to the article on CNBC.com: http://www.cnbc.com/2016/03/18/starwood-signs-deal-to-sell-to-chinas-anbang-for-78share-in-cash.html.

All references must be sourced to CNBC.

DAVID FABER: HI GUYS AND GALS. HI EVERYBODY. DID WANT TO UPDATE OUR REPORTING ON THAT BID FOR STARWOOD THAT'S BEEN GOING ON AND IN FACT CAN TELL YOU THIS MORNING THAT ANBANG AND ITS PARTNERS CHRIS FLOWERS AND PRIMAVERA HAVE REACHED AN AGREEMENT TO ACQUIRE STARWOOD FOR $78 A SHARE IN CASH. HIGHER THAN THE $76 A SHARE OFFER THEY HAD PREVIOUSLY MADE. SOURCES FAMILIAR WITH THE SITUATION TELL ME AN ANNOUNCEMENT EXPECTED THIS MORNING THAT, IN FACT, STARWOOD HAS REACHED THAT DEFINITIVE AGREEMENT. NOW, IMPORTANTLY, STARWOOD HAS NOT SIGNED THAT AGREEMENT. ANBANG HAS. AND BY THE WAY, IT IS A FULLY FINANCED OFFER TO ACQUIRE STARWOOD AT $78/SHARE CASH. BUT STARWOOD HASN'T SIGNED IT BECAUSE THEY HAVE TO GIVE MARRIOTT, IT'S CURRENT MERGER PARTNER, FIVE DAYS – FIVE BUSINESS DAYS IN WHICH TO RESPOND TO THIS HIGHER OFFER. THE MARRIOTT DEAL AS YOU RECALL IS FOR .92 SHARES OF MARRIOTT AND $2 A SHARE. ITS VALUE IS CERTAINLY WELL BELOW THAT OF THE ANBANG DEAL AT THIS POINT. BUT SOURCES FAMILIAR WITH THE SITUATION TELL ME AS WELL THERE'S AN EXPECTATION BASED ON CONVERSATIONS THAT HAVE ALREADY TAKEN PLACE THAT MARRIOTT WILL COUNTER BID TO TRY TO MAINTAIN ITS CURRENT DEAL TO ACQUIRE STARWOOD. AND SO THAT FIVE DAY CLOCK WILL BEGIN VERY SHORTLY AND MARRIOTT WILL HAVE THAT TIME IN WHICH IT WILL TRY TO CONSTRUCT A DEAL TO MEET OR EXCEED THE VALUE THAT'S BEING PRESENTED TO STARWOOD AND IT'S BOARD OF DIRECTORS FROM ANBANG. OF COURSE, THEY ARE NOT EXPECTED IN ANY WAY BE ABLE TO COMPETE CASH TO CASH. MARRIOTT'S CURRENT DEAL IS A LOT OF STOCK. THE EXPECTATION IS THEY WILL PUT IN MORE CASH. BUT IT IS ALSO THE PROSPECT OF THE COMBINATION PERHAPS THAT THE BOARD WILL TAKE INTO OVERALL QUESTION AS TO WHETHER THAT WILL CREATE MORE VALUE. SO IT LOOKS TO BE ONGOING HERE, BUT RIGHT NOW, STARWOOD SHAREHOLDERS HAVE TO BE VERY PLEASED. 78 BUCKS A SHARE HAS BEEN THE DEAL THAT'S BEEN REACHED WITH ANBANG AND ITS PARTNERS, THE LARGE CHINESE INSURER THAT HAS BEEN QUITE AGGRESSIVE IN BUYING PROPERTIES HERE.

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