MUMBAI Oct 26 Indian Hotels Company Ltd
has written to bid target Orient-Express Hotels
asking for a meeting to explain the benefits of its $1.2
billion bid for the U.S. luxury hotel group.
Vice chairman R. K. Krishna Kumar said in the letter on
Friday Indian Hotels wanted to assure the Orient-Express board
that the group would remain a separate and independent company
with its own management and directors.
Indian Hotels, part of the Tata group conglomerate, last
week offered $12.63 per Orient-Express share, a 40 percent
premium to the stock's previous closing price, in a rare example
of an unsolicited bid by an Indian firm.
Kumar said he wanted Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata and
Italian sports carmaker Ferrari's chairman, Luca Cordero di
Montezemolo, to meet Orient-Express.
Italian investment firm Montezemolo and Partners SpA would
invest $100 million in a minority stake in the enlarged group.
Indian Hotels, which acquired a 10 percent stake in
Orient-Express in 2007, now owns about 7 percent.
The company runs 99 hotels across India and 16 international
hotels including the Pierre Hotel, New York.
Orient-Express's global portfolio includes the Hotel
Cipriani in Venice and the 21 Club in New York. Its heavy
exposure to a sluggish European economy has crimped growth.