Chinas Anbang raises offer for Starwood to 14 billion

first_imgChina’s Anbang Insurance Group Co raised its offer for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc to almost $14 billion, Starwood said on Monday, in the latest challenge to the U.S. hotel operator’s merger with Marriott International Inc.The bidding war for Starwood has pitted Marriott’s ambitions to create the world’s largest lodging company with about 5,700 hotels against Anbang’s drive to create a vast portfolio of U.S. real estate assets.The acquisition of Starwood, owner of the Sheraton and Westin brands, by Anbang would be the largest ever by a Chinese company in the United States.Anbang’s consortium, which includes private equity firms J.C. Flowers & Co and Primavera Capital Ltd, has offered $82.75 per share in cash, in what is reasonably likely to lead to a proposal that is superior to the deal with Marriott, Starwood said on Monday. Reuters had reported earlier on Monday that Anbang had raised its offer.Marriott’s latest cash-and-stock offer, which was announced on March 21, is currently worth around $78 per share. Starwood’s board has not yet changed its recommendation to its shareholders in support of the company’s merger with Marriott, Starwood said. A vote for Starwood shareholders to approve the Marriott deal is scheduled for April 8.”Marriott has the financial capacity and the wherewithal to push its bid up higher. However, so much of the transaction is based on Marriott’s current share price, I think investors would be less than thrilled if it increased its offer materially at this juncture,” said Bill Crow, an analyst at Raymond James.Marriott declined to say on Monday if it would raise its offer further. In a statement, Marriott said it was confident that the previously announced amended merger agreement with Starwood is the best course for both companies.”Starwood stockholders should give serious consideration to the question of whether the Anbang-led consortium will be able to close the proposed transaction, with a particular focus on the certainty of the consortium’s financing and the timing of any required regulatory approvals,” Marriott said in its statement.In any deal with Anbang or Marriott, Starwood shareholders will also receive stock in Interval Leisure Group Inc, which is getting Starwood’s vacation ownership business, currently worth $5.91 per Starwood share.Starwood shares were trading up 2.4 percent at $84.07 on Monday. Marriott shares were up 4 percent to $71.40, as some investors hoped Anbang’s move would prompt Marriott to walk away from an expensive deal.Anbang’s latest offer values Starwood at 13.5 times earnings. By comparison, peers Hyatt Hotels Corp and Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc are trading at around ten times earnings.To be sure, the Anbang offer is still cheaper than some of large real estate deals seen in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Buyout firm Blackstone Group LP’s $26 billion leveraged buyout of Hilton in 2007, for example, valued that company at 15 times earnings.CFIUS REVIEWMarriott said last week it believes it could achieve $250 million in annual cost synergies within two years after closing the deal with Starwood, up from $200 million estimated in November 2015 when it signed its original merger agreement.An acquisition of Starwood by Anbang would probably face scrutiny by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), an inter agency panel that reviews deals to ensure they do not harm national security. However, sources have said both Starwood and Anbang believe that deal would receive CFIUS clearance.Under its latest merger agreement with Marriott, Starwood would pay a breakup fee to Marriott of $450 million.Lazard and Citigroup Global Markets Inc are financial advisers to Starwood, and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is its legal counsel. Deutsche Bank Securities and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher are advising Marriott.PJT Partners Inc PJT.N is Anbang’s financial adviser, while Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is its legal counsel.last_img read more

Worldwide quantum web may be possible with help from graphs

first_img Explore further “A worldwide quantum network may appear quite similar to the internet—a huge number of devices connected in a way that allows the exchange of information between any of them,” coauthor Michael Epping, a physicist at the University of Waterloo in Canada, told Phys.org. “But the crucial difference is that the laws of quantum theory will be dominant for the description of that information. For example, the state of the fundamental information carrier can be a superposition of the basis states 0 and 1. By now, several advantages in comparison to classical information are known, such as prime number factorization and secret communication. However, the biggest benefit of quantum networks might well be discovered by future research in the rapidly developing field of quantum information theory.”Quantum networks involve sending entangled particles across long distances, which is challenging because particle loss and decoherence tend to scale exponentially with the distance.In their study published in the New Journal of Physics, Epping and coauthors Hermann Kampermann and Dagmar Bruß at the Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf in Germany have shown that describing physical quantum networks as abstract mathematical graphs offers a way to optimize the architecture of quantum networks and achieve entanglement across the longest possible distances. “A network is a physical system,” Epping explained. “Examples of a network are the internet and labs at different buildings connected by optical fibers. These networks may be described by mathematical graphs at an abstract level, where the network structure—which consists of nodes that exchange quantum information via links—is represented graphically by vertices connected by edges. An important task for quantum networks is to distribute entangled states amongst the nodes, which are used as a resource for various information protocols afterwards. In our approach, the graph description of the network, which might come to your mind quite naturally, is related to the distributed quantum state.”In the language of graphs, this distributed quantum state becomes a quantum graph state. The main advantage of the graph state description is that it allows researchers to compare different quantum networks that produce the same quantum state, and to see which network is better at distributing entanglement across large distances.Quantum networks differ mainly in how they use quantum repeaters—devices that offer a way to distribute entanglement across large distances by subdividing the long-distance transmission channels into shorter channels. Here, the researchers produced an entangled graph state for a quantum network by initially defining vertices with both nodes and quantum repeaters. Then they described how measurements at the repeater stations modify this graph state. Due to these modifications, the vertices associated with quantum repeaters are removed so that only the network nodes serve as vertices in the final quantum state, while the connecting quantum repeater lines become edges.In the final graph state, the weights of the edges correspond to the number of quantum repeaters and how far apart they are. Consequently, by changing the weights of the edges, the new approach can optimize a given performance metric, such as security or speed. In other words, the method can determine the best way to use quantum repeaters to achieve long-distance entanglement for large-scale quantum networks.In the future, the researchers plan to investigate the demands for practical implementation. They also want to extend these results to a newer research field called “quantum network coding” by generalizing the quantum repeater concept to quantum routers, which can make quantum networks more secure against macroscopic errors. Citation: Worldwide quantum web may be possible with help from graphs (2016, June 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-06-worldwide-quantum-web-graphs.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: New Journal of Physics © 2016 Phys.orgcenter_img Physicists find extreme violation of local realism in quantum hypergraph states More information: Michael Epping, Hermann Kampermann and Dagmar Bruß. “Large-scale quantum networks based on graphs.” New Journal of Physics. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/18/5/053036 (Phys.org)—One of the most ambitious endeavors in quantum physics right now is to build a large-scale quantum network that could one day span the entire globe. In a new study, physicists have shown that describing quantum networks in a new way—as mathematical graphs—can help increase the distance that quantum information can be transmitted. Compared to classical networks, quantum networks have potential advantages such as better security and being faster under certain circumstances. Physicists have shown that, by describing a quantum network as a mathematical graph, they can determine the best way to use quantum repeaters to achieve long-distance entanglement. Credit: Epping et al. ©2016 IOP Publishinglast_img read more

Tooth loss in elderly linked to malnutrition

first_imgOlder adults with just 10 to 19 teeth are at higher risk malnutrition, warns a new study. These patients also had higher rates of weight loss, lower appetite and were at increased risk for dementia and/or depression as well as severe illnesses than those who had a normal nutrition status. “The mouth is the entry way for food and fluid intake. If its integrity is impaired, the functional ability of an individual to consume an adequate diet may be adversely impacted,” said Rena Zelig, lead author at Rutgers University in the US. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfFurther, the researchers said that dental clinics were ideal locations to perform nutritional status screenings as they can identify patients who may not regularly visit a primary care provider and who may be at risk for malnutrition. “Clinicians also can provide patients with referrals to Registered Dietitians and community assistance programmes such as Meals on Wheels to prevent further decline in nutritional status,” Zelig said. The study, published in Journal of Ageing Research and Clinical Practice, analysed the health records of 107 senior citizens treated aged 65 and above.The results showed that 20.6 per cent of participants were at risk for malnutrition and 4.7 per cent were malnourished. In addition, greater than 87 per cent of them partially or completely lacked teeth. However, further study was needed to examine the relationships between tooth loss and malnutrition risk and the impact of tooth loss on the eating experience and eating-related quality of life.last_img read more