Bharti buys hotel in Seychelles
By Our Corporate Bureau | 25 Oct 2004
Srinagar: Bharti Enterprises has bought the 12-acre, 150-room Le Meridien Barbarons Hotel in Seychelles. The 5-star beach hotel will be refurbished by mid-April, said Bharti CMD Sunil Mittal.
Bharti has telecom services in Seychelles as a JV with M-Tel, called Telecom Seychelles, through which the hotel has been bought.
"There are stringent forex repatriation regulations in Seychelles for foreign firms and so we have bought a hotel there to get benefits of forex repatriation," said Mittal.
Mittal, counsel-general for Seychelles in India, said Telecom Seychelles had 22,000 subscribers and a net profit of $5 million. Mittal said, however, buying the hotel was a one-off thing and his firm had no intentions of entering the business. He said the hotel was a good property and was available at a good price.
Bharti''s move is aimed at diversifying in areas beyond its well-established telecom business. It is a strong contender for airport privatisation projects in partnership with Singapore''s Changi and has entered into the export of fruits and vegetables through a JV with UK''s Rothschild.