DELHI: A number of hotel operators and investors are keen to grab the landmark hotel property on Delhi’s Mansingh Road managed currently by Indian Hotels Co, if the New Delhi Municipal Council puts it up for auction, consultants and industry insiders said.
An auction could see fierce bidding from the likes of hotel development and investment firm SAMHI Hotels, Lemon Tree Hotels, and many other foreign institutional investors, hotel companies as well as private equity funds, reports The Economic Times.
“At a broad level, yes, we would be interested in bidding for the property,” said SAMHI Chief Executive Ashish Jakhanwala. But a number of issues needed to be clarified before that, like the tenure of the lease and whether it is fixed or variable, he said.
“We are always keen for good quality assets but we are not into the trophy asset business. So, if it’s a 30-year lease, unlikely. If it’s longer, we will be interested.” Patu Keswani, chairman of Lemon Tree Hotels, said if it is an open auction and there is no right of first refusal, then like most others international and domestic hotel companies, the company too would like to bid.
Dilip Puri, Starwood’s managing director for India, said while Starwood will not bid as it does not invest in real estate, if investors bid for it and got it, the company will like to manage the property.
The hotel is one of the most iconic in the capital city. Indian Hotel’s lease for the property ended in October 2011, but it has got several extensions since then.