Carlson Hotels Worldwide, which was named the ‘fastest growing hotel chain in South Asia’ last November, is gunning for the second slot in India, behind the Taj group.
To support its phenomenal growth plan, the company is buying over its Indian joint venture partner to consolidate its presence here.
The company on Wednesday unveiled plans to triple its presence in the country by 2012.
Carlson Hotels will add 50 new hotels with 6,750 rooms to its existing portfolio of 28 hotels with 2,250 rooms in the next two years. This will take its total hotel count in India to 78 hotels (20 in NCR Delhi) as compared to the Taj Group’s 99.
The company’s luxury brand Regent will also operate its maiden property in NCR Delhi, in 2013.
“We are optimistic about growth prospects in India. To be the number one international hotel operator here is particularly pleasing,” said Hubert Joly, president and chief executive of Carlson Hotels.
The company has signed an agreement to increase its stake in RHW Hotel Management Services — which has managed Carlson’s hotels in India since 1998 — from 13 per cent to 87 per cent by acquiring the total 74 per cent stake of Umak Investment for an unspecified amount.
RHW has been majority controlled by Delhi-based Dr Ramesh Kapur’s Umak so far.
The deal, which will be completed by March 2010, is subject to government approval.