(Reuters) -Choice Hotels International has terminated its months-long takeover bid for rival Wyndham Hotels & Resorts after failing to gather enough support from the target’s shareholders, the company said on Monday.

The company will also withdraw its nomination of independent director candidates for election at Wyndham’s 2024 annual meeting.

Shares of Wyndham fell 4.4% before the bell.

Choice first went public with its cash-and-stock offer for Wyndham in October 2023, then valued at about $8 billion, in an attempt to combine two of the biggest U.S. budget hotel operators.

It launched a hostile bid in December, after Wyndham repeatedly rebuffed its approaches, citing undervaluation of its business and antitrust risk.

Wyndham previously said it can achieve a higher valuation on its own, projecting compounded annual growth in adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of between 7% and 10% through 2026. It has said that its adjusted EBITDA growth recently reached 6%.

Choice said on Monday its board had authorized an increase of 5 million shares to its repurchase program.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Shilpi Majumdar and Sriraj Kalluvila)

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