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Park Hotels to use Swiss funds for expansion

Calcutta, July 19: Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels Ltd will use the $55 million raised from its stake sale to Credit Suisse to expand its footprint in the country.

Credit Suisse recently picked up a minority stake for $55 million, or Rs 220 crore, in the Park Hotels chain.

“I am delighted to announce the group’s partnership with Credit Suisse. Both partners share a deep understanding of the business and a vision for the future which will propel the group to a new level,” said Karan Paul, chairman of Apeejay Surrendra Group.

Credit Suisse will have a representative on the hospitality major’s board and help it chalk out its long-term growth strategy.

One of the oldest industrial groups of the country, the Apeejay Group was established in 1910 and has been running The Park chain of hotels for over 35 years.

The chain was among the first to set up boutique hotels on its properties in Calcutta, New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Navi Mumbai and Vishakhapatnam.

“We have run a successful hospitality business for over 40 years. This fresh infusion of capital will help us expand our footprint across the country,” said Priya Paul, chairperson of Apeejay Surrendra Park Hotels. The real estate fund of Credit Suisse will pick up a 10-15 per cent stake in the Park Hotels chain.

The hospitality major is working on a 280-room hotel and retail development project in Hyderabad. It will start operations in 2008-09.

This is the second investment of Credit Suisse in real estate. Earlier, it acquired 75 per cent in a Rs 300-crore infotech park-cum-five star hotel project of Vascon Engineers in Pune.

The Swiss financial services company is expected to invest around $1 billion in the next two years.

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