The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indian Hotels ready for US foray

Calcutta, Oct. 1: The Indian Hotels Company Ltd that manages the Taj group of hotels, is set to acquire a property in the United States.

The company’s board today approved the proposed acquisition. Indian Hotels, however, did not name the property that it was planning to buy.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We are considering a couple of properties in the US, and will take a decision within the next couple of weeks.”

The company is conducting the due diligence exercise at present. It told stock exchanges that the acquisition in US could be made through a subsidiary of the group.

Managing director Raymond . Bickson had previously said Indian Hotels was looking to enter China and West Asia as well. Islands in the Indian Ocean — the likes of Mauritius and Seychelles — are also on the company’s radar.

Indian Hotels manages 56 properties in India and 12 abroad, including those that it does not own. Bickson said the company intended to expand its chain through management contracts.

The group has been restructuring itself over the last two years. It has divested its holding in a number of properties to its partners to turn itself into a “asset-light company”. Alongside, it has also undertaken an exercise to re-brand its properties in accordance with their standard. The Taj brand is likely to be exclusive preserve of the super-deluxe properties.

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