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Indian Hotels Company buys 10% of Orient-Express

18 September 2007 by

The Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) has acquired a 10% stake in Orient-Express Hotels for $211m (£106m) and is assessing the viability of combining the two brands and expanding its presence outside India.

IHCL owns and operates the 57-strong Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces in 12 countries, including the Crowne Plaza London St James and 51 Buckingham Gate.

Orient-Express owns, part-owns and manages 49 hotels, restaurants, tourist-train and river-cruise properties in 25 countries, including include Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons in Oxfordshire and the Cipriani in Venice.

RK Krishna Kumar, vice-chairman of IHCL, said: "Over the past few years, we have pursued the objective of growing the Taj brand internationally.

"As part of this strategy, we have been pursuing alliances and relationships with leading hotel groups that have not yet set up a presence in India, but have secured leadership positions in various geographies."

Orient-Express is poised to appoint a chief financial officer after chief executive Paul White restructured its executive management team, creating new dual roles for some executives.

General managers of some hotels will now take on regional responsibilities.

Le Manoir investors eye up Orient-Express Hotels group>>

Orient-Express Hotels loses third executive in six months>>

Orient-Express Hotels put on the market>>

By Christopher Walton

E-mail your comments to Christopher Walton](mailto:christopher.walton@rbi.co.uk?subject=Indian Hotels Company buys 10% of Orient-Express) here.

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