The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), (owners of the iconic The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai, above) has announced a strategic partnership with Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, GIC Real Estate, for an investment platform to the tune of USD 600 million over a period of three years. The platform will be used to acquire fully operational hotels in the luxury, upper upscale and upscale segments in India.
Moreover, the new partnership will look at potential hotel assets primarily located in key lodging markets in India. The mandate is to acquire fully operational hotels which will also include distressed or under performing hotels that can be turned around banking on IHCL’s experience and capabilities.
Commenting on the signing of this agreement, Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and chief executive officer of IHCL said: “We are delighted to partner with GIC, one of the most reputable global investors. This collaboration is in line with Aspiration 2022 and our vision to scale up, create greater enterprise value and make IHCL South Asia’s most iconic and profitable hospitality company. Through this Platform, we expect to acquire strategic and marquee assets that need new ownership, branding and positioning.”
Highlights of the Platform for IHCL are:
- IHCL will be able to pursue acquisitions in an asset light format, with the equity contribution from IHCL at 30% and the balance 70% contributed by GIC.
- Each acquisition is intended to be in a separate SPV with its own funding.
- The hotels acquired will be managed by IHCL under its various brands and complement the company’s current growth aspirations via Management Contracts.
Kok Sun Lee, chief investment officer of GIC Real Estate, said: “GIC is pleased to partner with IHCL, a leading hotel owner and operator, to build a quality hospitality portfolio in key destinations across India. As a long-term investor, we are confident in the outlook of India’s hospitality sector. We look forward to working closely with established partners such as IHCL to pursue attractive opportunities and capture the sector’s growth potential.”