Indian Hotels mull alliance

The Indian Hotels Company Ltd is planning discussions with Orient-Express Hotels Ltd to
form an alliance. The alliance is aimed at leveraging global networks and
building brand equity for both companies in a unique relationship. As a
commitment to this proposed alliance, IHCL, through its wholly-owned
subsidiary Samsara Properties Ltd, has acquired a strategic stake of
approximately 10% in Orient-Express Hotels Ltd at a total investment of US$
211.28 million. This is a reflection of its deep commitment to the
possibility of an association with Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.
  Orient-Express Hotels Ltd owns or part owns and manages 35 hotels in 25
countries, besides luxury trains and cruises. Its properties are fabled for
their uniqueness and each is a destination in itself.
  Mr. R.K. Krishna Kumar, Vice Chairman, IHCL commented, “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. This move is in line with our plans and we look forward to
pursuing a possible association between IHCL and the Company which has
earned a great reputation for its outstanding ultra luxury hotels, trains
and cruises. The possible combination of the two brands will create a
powerful competitive advantage. The synergies which can be developed will
strongly leverage the huge opportunity in the global market as also the
exploding Indian hospitality industry. We are committed to working together
in a friendly and supportive manner with Orient-Express Hotels Ltd.”