rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Business » Sahara eyes French palaces, Marriott's UK portfolio

Sahara eyes French palaces, Marriott's UK portfolio

Last updated on: August 1, 2012 14:22 IST

Sahara eyes French palaces, Marriott's UK portfolio

     Next

Next
Ruchika Chitravanshi in New Delhi

By acquiring two of the most iconic hotel properties in the world -- the Grosvenor House in London and the Plaza in New York -- for $1.3 billion, at a time when no one expected it to, the group looks settled in the high-end hospitality business.

The Subrata Roy-led group is now scouting for palace properties in France.

It is also learnt to be in talks with the Marriott group to buy its portfolio in the UK.

Sahara did not reply to a questionnaire sent by Business Standard.

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Image: Sahara's founder Subrata Roy with his wife Swapna.
Photographs: Sahara Corporate Communications/Handout/Reuters

     Next

Sahara eyes French palaces, Marriott's UK portfolio

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Experts say the group is considering a three-pronged approach -- acquire trophy assets, buy portfolios or multiple properties and create its own brand.

Resilient trophies

The strategy behind acquiring trophy assets is not just to make a statement, but also to have an asset that would retain its value through economic cycles.

Today, the Sahara Group does not need an introduction in the global hotel industry, unlike the scenario before it made the prized acquisitions.

"Trophy assets retain their value much better than mainstream hotel assets.

"These cannot be replicated or recreated. Such assets are more resistant to economic downturns.

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Image: The Plaza Hotel in New York.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Prev     Next

Sahara eyes French palaces, Marriott's UK portfolio

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

For someone with money, this is the best time to pick up assets, as there is a limited pool of buyers," said Kaushik Vardharajan, managing director, HVS Global Hospitality Services India.

The company is learnt to be interested in acquiring trophy assets across major cities in the US and Europe.

The last two deals have brought in many sellers, including DLF's Aman Hotel, a source said.

"They are among the few people in the market who have the money and have been able to close transactions," he added.

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Image: Grosvenor House hotel on Park Lane in Central London.
Photographs: Courtesy, Grosvenor House

Prev     Next

Sahara eyes French palaces, Marriott's UK portfolio

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

Buy and build

The company is also looking at buying portfolios.

Sources indicate it has been in talks with the Marriott group for buying 15 of its hotels in Europe.

"The company would look at buying portfolios that are large in size, and in distress. In the current market, it could get a bargain," said an industry expert, on condition of anonymity.

However, the diversified business group is yet to find 'trophies' in India.

With its own Sahara Star hotel in Mumbai, the company is extensively exploring the Indian hospitality market to see where it fits best.

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Image: Subrata Roy.
Photographs: Reuters

Prev     Next

Sahara eyes French palaces, Marriott's UK portfolio

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

While it may not venture into the budget hotel category, the company is looking at opportunities from mid-market to the luxury segments to launch its own hotel brand, industry sources said.

A few companies have invested big money in the hospitality industry, without actually managing the hotels.

It is here that experts draw a similarity between the Sahara Group and Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries.

Click NEXT to read further. . .


Photographs: Romeo Ranoco/Reuters

Prev     Next

Sahara eyes French palaces, Marriott's UK portfolio

Prev     More
Prev

More

While RIL entered the hospitality industry by acquiring stake in EIH holdings, which operates the Oberoi Hotel and Resorts chain, the Sahara group has acquired majority ownership in assets. However, it wants complete control of these.

"A lot more deals could come its way if it was open to the option of picking up stake. In India, it can be more pragmatic," said an independent analyst.

JW Marriott and Fairmont manage Sahara's Grosvenor House and the Plaza properties, respectively.

Whatever be Sahara's next move in the hospitality industry, it is unlikely to go unnoticed.





Prev     More
Source: