WASHINGTON — After three delays, Chinese regulators have approved Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International Inc.’s $12.4 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., a merger that will create the largest hotel operator in the world.
Chinese regulatory approval was the last hurdle in the merger. European Union regulators approved the deal this summer. U.S. regulators approved it earlier this year, and Marriott and Starwood shareholders overwhelmingly approved the merger.
Marriott says the deal will now close Friday.
The merger brings together chains like Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard and J.W. Marriott with Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis.
The combined companies will have more than 1 million hotel rooms at 5,700 hotel properties worldwide.
Marriott will remain headquartered at its longtime home in Bethesda, although Marriott may relocate its headquarters elsewhere in the Washington region sometime in the future.
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