Blackstone not investing in Leela Group: Vivek Nair

Mumbai: Vivek Nair, vice chairman and managing director of Hotel Leela, has categorically denied newspaper reports that US private equity firm Blackstone Plc is likely to investment $11.33 billion (around Rs5,000 crore) in Hotel Leela Venture Ltd.

In an interview with CNBC-TV18, Vivek Nair, denied being in talks with any private equity players to raise funds. "We are certainly not in conversation with Blackstone," he said, adding their business is adequately funded for the next two years.

He said Blackstone wasn''t even mentioned. The report, however, says in the first paragraph that it is likely to be Blackstone, according to industry sources.

"I don''t know how the correspondent got that information. So we are just issuing a press release," he added.

Hotel Leela Venture Ltd said it is working on various initiatives towards establishing a pan-India and global presence. Both Blackstone and Hotel Leela Venture, however, refused to confirm the reports.

"We have got close to Rs5,000 crore worth of funding, which will be spent on our ongoing projects and for expansion purposes,'' one report quoted Leela Group chairman C P Krishnan Nair as saying.

The Leela Group is also planning to launch a second chain of 5-star luxury hotels which would come up in religious destinations, the report said.