The merger transaction of Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has secured approval of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

This was the last regulatory approval required to complete the merger.

With the receipt of the regulatory approval, Marriott and Starwood can now proceed with closing of the transaction.

The firms expect the transaction to be completed on 23 September following satisfaction of customary closing requirements. 

Upon closing, Marriott expects to boost its position as the world's leading hotel company.

In line with the merger closing, Starwood expects its shares to cease trading on the New York Stock Exchange before market opens on 23 September.  

Starwood shareholders will receive $21 in cash and 0.80 shares of Marriott International  Class A common stock for each share of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide common stock. 

With the closure of the transaction, former Starwood shareholders will receive Marriott's quarterly cash dividend of 30 cents ($0.30) per share of Marriott common stock that Marriott's board of directors declared on 13 September and which is payable to all Marriott shareholders of record at the close of business on 23 September. 

Starwood's former public shareholders will not receive the dividend declared by Starwood's board of directors on 13 September.

The dividend to Marriott shareholders, including the former Starwood shareholders, will be paid on 30 September.

Marriott International has more than 4,500 properties in 88 countries and territories. 

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has more than 1,300 properties in around 100 countries.