Indian Hotels to sweeten offer for Orient Express? | business | Hindustan Times
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Indian Hotels to sweeten offer for Orient Express?

Tata group firm Indian Hotels Co Ltd (IHCL) is understood to be prepared to increase its offer from $1.9 billion (Rs. 10,184 crore) to take full control of US-based hospitality chain Orient Express Hotels.

business Updated: Oct 28, 2012 23:25 IST

Tata group firm Indian Hotels Co Ltd (IHCL) is understood to be prepared to increase its offer from $1.9 billion (Rs. 10,184 crore) to take full control of US-based hospitality chain Orient Express Hotels.

The company is willing to sweeten the offer if it gets to go through the books of the American firm and found "more value," a company source said on Sunday on the condition of anonymity.

"The offer that IHCL has made was based on only publicly available information. If it gets to access the books of Orient Express Hotels and finds more value, then it may be willing to increase the offer."

When contacted, a IHCL spokesperson declined to comment.



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The company's intent to sweeten the offer was hinted in the letter that IHCL vice-chairman RK Krishna Kumar had written to Orient Express Hotels chairman J Robert Lovejoy on October 25.

"...to date, we have only had access to public information and, as such, our offer was informed only by this limited data... To the extent you and your advisors wish to discuss value-drivers of which we may not be aware, we would be pleased to engage in a constructive dialogue regarding these issues," Kumar had said.

He had written the letter seeking a meeting between Lovejoy and Tata group chairman Ratan Tata along with Ferrari chairman Luca Montezemolo to discuss the acquisition issue.

On October 18, IHCL along with Charme II Funds, founded by the family of Ferrari chairman Luca Montezemolo, made an all-cash offer to acquire the outstanding 93.1% stake of Orient Express at $12.6 per share.

Orient-Express Hotels has already described IHCL's second attempt to acquire it as "unsolicited".