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Updated: March 26, 2011 15:44 IST

Oberoi keen to expand overseas presence

Special Correspondent
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EIH Chairman P. R. S. Oberoi addressing shareholders at the company's annual meeting in Kolkata on Tuesday. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
The Hindu EIH Chairman P. R. S. Oberoi addressing shareholders at the company's annual meeting in Kolkata on Tuesday. Photo: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury

EIH Ltd which owns the Oberoi and Trident chain of hotels, is keen to have a presence in six key locations — London, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Beijing and Bangkok, Group Chairman P. R. S. Oberoi said.

Addressing a press conference after the company's annual meeting here, he said “While our main interest is in Asia, we would like to be in key cities like New York, Paris and London.”

These would be management contracts and indications were that talks were on. “There may be talks and the projects could either be new or existing ones,” Mr. Oberoi said to a question on whether the company has selected any partners.

Reiterating a point made at the AGM, he said that future expansion would be through the management contract route “where we have minimum or no investment. We own too much property. In the long-term, it is not too good to own so much property” he said. EIH now owns some 31 properties of which 22 were in India.

Mr. Oberoi was hopeful of the industry seeing better times from this September and also said that tariff was set to increase by around 20 per cent

Responding to persistent queries from the shareholders and the media alike on the 14.8 per cent stake in EIH held by ITC, he said “I am not worried and neither should you be. ITC has said that there would be no hostile takeover. I will take Y. C. Deveshwar's word for it.” As for the 46.4 per cent stake now held in EIH by the promoter group, Vice-Chairman S. S. Mukherjee said that depending on market conditions, the stake would be increased.

He said that an investment of Rs.150 crore was in the pipeline over the next two years. The 10 projects-on-hand include the 202-room, Oberoi Gurgaon (by March 2011), the 103-room Trident Hotel in Dehradun (by March 2012), and 229-room Hyderabad Oberoi. The 323-room Trident hotel adjacent is expected by summer of 2012.

Planning has also commenced for the projects in Abu Dhabi, Marrakesh and Oman. The flight kitchen in Kochi is to be commissioned shortly.

Mr. Oberoi and Mr Mukherjee also said that a consultant might be appointed for examining options for harnessing renewable energy for the properties.

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