by Michael J. Shapiro | April 08, 2016

In separate meetings, Marriott and Starwood stockholders voted today to approve Marriott's acquisition of Starwood. Marriott holders of more than 97 percent of the shares present and voting at the meeting voted in favor; they represented more than 79 percent of the company's outstanding shares. More than 95 percent of the shares present and voting at the Starwood meeting voted in favor of the transaction, representing more than 63 percent of Starwood's outstanding shares.

"With today's successful stockholder approval milestone, we are that much closer to completing our transaction," said Arne Sorenson, Marriott president and CEO. "Our teams continue to plan the integration of our two companies, and we are committed to a timely and smooth transition. We appreciate the stockholders' vote of confidence in our ability to drive long-term value and opportunity as a combined company."

When the deal closes, Starwood stakeholders will receive 0.8 shares of Marriott common stock plus $21 in cash for each share of Starwood stock. As the lodging companies previously disclosed, the deal has already cleared the premerger antitrust review in the U.S., Canada and a number of other jurisdictions. Both parties believe the transaction remains on track to close in mid-2016, pending Starwood's sale of its time-share business, which is slated for April 30, obtaining the remaining regulatory approvals and satisfying other customary closing conditions.

"Today's vote is a significant step toward closing, and we are grateful for the continued enthusiasm and support for this merger," said Starwood CEO Thomas B. Mangas, who attempted to move past the drama of the past few weeks that saw another bidder try to derail the deal. "There is no doubt that this transaction puts our company on the best path forward," he continued, "and we remain excited about the opportunity this combination will create for our stockholders, associates, owners and guests."