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Delhi publisher in overseas hotels

business Updated: Oct 21, 2009 21:41 IST
HT Correspondent

Seven decades and 7,000 titles later Delhi’s book publishers S.Chand Group is marking its first major foray outside its flagship publishing and education business.

Known more publishing several academic titles including popular English grammar textbooks by P.C. Wren and H. Martin, the group has planned a major diversification into the hospitality sector involving an investment of more than Rs 500 crore ($107 million).

Atlantic Hotels, the group’s wholly-owned hospitality arm, has set up a 120-room five-star hotel in Chennai, is opening a 90 room hotel in Delhi’s Hari Nagar shortly and is in talks to acquire a heritage property in Sri Lanka.

Over the next four years, it plans to add two 5-star properties and four more 3-star deluxe hotels across various cities.

“The company’s hotel development plan will revolve around creating two levels of hotels—mid-market (budget hotels) and upscale 5-star hotels,” said Amitabh Sanduja, Executive Vice President of Atlantic Hotels.

In Delhi, the company is on the verge of completing its 90-room three-star hotel in Hari Nagar and have tied up with Sarovar Chain and have obtained 'HOMETEL' Brand for the same. It is in discussions with international hotel chains for a co-branding and licensing agreement for its upscale hotels.

“The company’s board has now decided to infuse capital into these two hotels as well as part of the investment plans in the hospitality sector,” Sanduja said.

About of 70 per cent of the investments for the hospitality business would be funded through debt, a first of its kind for a firm that has traditionally avoided carrying debt on its balance sheet.

“We expect the hotel industry revenue to outperform the publishing division in the next few years,” Sanduja said. The company is also identifying properties in Tier-I cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore to set up 5-star hotel properties.