The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hilton plans to invest Rs 500 cr in joint venture

New Delhi, Nov. 19: Hilton Group plc subsidiary Hilton International plans to operate 10-15 hotels in India in the next five years, a senior company official said today.

“We will form a joint venture with a local partner in all these projects,” Koos Klein, president of the firm’s West Asia & Asia-Pacific operations told The Telegraph. He added that the company has immediate plans to invest between $ 50-100 million.

Klein was here to announce the formation of a joint venture—Hospitality Holdings India—with Blue Coast Hotels & Resorts promoted by Morepen Laboratories.

“Hospitality Holdings India will invest Rs 500 crore in building hotels in Mumbai, Bangalore and Goa and these will be in operation around 2005,” Klein said, adding that Hilton will have a one-third stake in the new firm.

He said the firm also plans to operate two more hotels. “We have not yet decided the on the places but Delhi figures high in our priority list.”

Asked on the occupancy figures the firm expects in view of the global slump in tourist travel and a rise in terrorist attacks, he said: “Ideally, we would like to have a full house but we should be able to achieve something to the tune of 65 per cent occupancy rates.” However, Klein refused to reveal any profit figures.

Earlier, Hilton had a joint venture with the Lalit Suri group but had to exit the partnership after sharp differences cropped up between the two partners. “Our vision and expectations did not match theirs and so in the best interests of the partners we decided to quit.”

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