Indian Hotels - the company behind the unsolicited bid for Orient-Express Hotels - has revealed something of its plans if it succeeds in its ambition to buy the 40-strong luxury hotel group.
In an open letter to Robert Lovejoy, chairman, Orient-Express Hotels and the company's board of directors - which includes Prue Leith - Krishna Kumar, vice chairman, Indian Hotels, said that the aim of the acquisition was to "create a new global competitor in the luxury segment of the hospitality industry".
Kumar also said that Orient-Express, which owns Raymond Blanc's Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons, would remain as a separate and independent company with standalone management and board of directors within the Tata Group, the parent company of Indian Hotels. He said that this had been the previous policy of the Tata Group in its purchase of Jaguar/Land Rover and Corus.
The Mumbai-based Indian Hotels owns and operates around 100 properties under the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces brand, including London's 51 Buckingham Gate, Taj Suites & Residences and the Crowne Plaza London - St James.
It already owns 6.9% of Orient-Express Hotels and has now offered £7.86 per share for the remaining 93.1% of the company, a figure that reflects a 40% premium over the current share price.
By Janet Harmer
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