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Starwood takes improved bid from Anbang

NEW YORK — Starwood is calling of a $12.2 billion buyout agreement with Marriott in favor of an offer from a group of investors led by the Chinese insurance company Anbang.

The decision came after Anbang upped its offer for Starwood by nearly $370 million Friday, bringing the total deal to more than $14 billion.

Starwood, which owns the Sheraton and Westin hotel brands, has to pay Marriott $400 million to end the deal.

Marriott has until March 28 to make another offer. Marriott International Inc. said Friday that it still believes a combination with Starwood is best, and is considering its next step. Marriott first offered to buy Starwood in November.

Shares of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. rose more than 5 percent before the stock market opened.