September 17, 2007

Indian Hotels begins alliance talks with Orient-Express Hotels

Reiterates its commitment to a proposed alliance, with strategic stake, in one of the world's ultra luxury hotel companies

The Indian Hotels Company is looking forward to the process of discussions with Orient-Express Hotels 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, has acquired a strategic stake of approximately 10 per cent in Orient-Express Hotels 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.

Orient-Express Hotels 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.

RK 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 that 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."