Dubai Ventures buys stake in Suri-owned Bharat Hotels


Dubai : Dubai Ventures has signed an agreement for an equity investment of $40 million, approximately five percent, stake in Bharat Hotels Ltd., one of India's largest hotel companies.

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Bharat Hotels, which operates under The Grand banner, currently has a portfolio of eight luxury, five-star deluxe hotels as well as six hotels under construction.

Dubai Ventures is the equity investment arm of Dubai Investment Group (DIG), and invests across the world, but predominantly focuses on Asia. DIG has offices in Dubai, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London and New York.

Abdulhakeem Kamkar, CEO, DIG, said after the agreement Friday: "We firmly believe today is the beginning of a promising journey which will be beneficial not only to Bharat Hotels and Dubai Investment Group but to both the countries."

"Our joining of hands is a direct reflection of the long-standing business ties that have played a key role in developing our respective economies," Kamkar was quoted by the WAM news agency as saying.

Jyotsna Suri, chairperson and managing director, Bharat Hotels, said: "Our expansion is in line with our endeavour to be present in key tourist and business destinations, to ensure our customers are provided with The Grand brand of hospitality, both at home and overseas. The investment by Dubai Ventures is indeed a privilege as well as a validation of the business potential of the group."

Bharat Hotels currently operates InterContinental The Grand hotels in New Delhi, Mumbai, Goa and Srinagar as well as The Grand Ashok Bangalore, The Grand Laxmi Vilas Palace Udaipur and The Grand Temple View Khajuraho.

Its Kolkata property, the 165-year-old The Grand Great Eastern, is presently under extensive restoration, with a view to make it one of the finest heritage hotels globally.

Other hotels under construction, scheduled for opening between 2008 and 2009 include The Grand Jaipur, The Grand Resort Bekal, The Grand Ahmedabad, The Grand Chandigarh, and The Grand Noida.

The company is also negotiating for luxury hotels in Hyderabad, Amritsar, Chennai, Pune and Gulmarg.

DIG's stake in Bharat Hotels will help spur the company's expansion and is in line with the vision of its parent company Dubai Group.