Indian Hotels buys Sydney-based "W" Hotel

Indian Hotels Company Ltd has acquired the Sydney-based "W" Hotel for A$36 million (approximately Rs126 crore). Currently owned by the Harilela Group of Hong Kong, the property is managed by Starwood Pacific Hotels Pty Ltd under its "W" brand.

The 104-room boutique hotel is located in the Woolloomooloo area of Sydney – the central business district of Sydney. Pending completion of all required formalities, the company expects to take over the ownership and management of the hotel in early February, 2006

Early this year, Indian Hotels had entered into a 30-year management contract to operate and manage Pierre, a luxury hotel in New York. "W" Hotel in Sydney will be the Tata Group''s first purchase of a hotel in Australia and is part of its long-term strategy to establish a global presence.

The company has already earmarked an investment of Rs565 crore for acquisitions in this financial year. Tata group chairman Ratan Tata had announced at the company''s last annual general meeting that out of this kitty, Rs 500 crore would be utilised for expansion and the balance for upgrading existing properties.

Indian Hotels is also looking for opportunities in China, which is keen on entering China through the acquisition of stand-alone properties or chains as the country was set to emerge as a dominant force in world hospitality in the next five years.

Indian Hotels currently has 17 international hotels, including those in the Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, Seychelles, the UK, the US, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and West Asia.