Steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal is planning to invest in the company behind upmarket country hotels in Europe that include the luxurious Cliveden in Oxfordshire and the Royal Crescent in Bath — founded by Queen Elizabeth 1. They also own property among surrounding hills and in the valley of the River Avon around hot springs where the Romans built baths and a temple.
“He is astute and is now diversifying after building the biggest steel empire. He wants to remain at the top even if steel goes through a dip due to the global credit crunch,” a City banker told HT. The Mittals already own luxury mansions in London worth over £440 million.
LK Advisers, one of the vehicles that advises the Mittals, is, according to a Sunday Telegraph report, said to be in talks with Von Essen Hotels, one of the country's private-owned collections of luxury hotels, about acquiring a stake in the business.
But neither of them, LK Advisers and Von Essen, would comment on the reported talks.
Andrew Davis, the entrepreneur who owns Von Essen, is reportedly contemplating to sell stake in the group in a move that would allow him to crystallise some of his estimated £210 million fortune. He wants to use external investment as a platform for bidding for the European properties of Orient Express Hotels.
But Orient Express has said that its European assets, which include La Residencia hotel in Malorca, are not for sale. People close to the company said it could announce a significant acquisition of its own soon.
If Mittal acquires stakes in these hotels, he will join a number of wealthy NRIs who have bought some of the most historic and luxury hotels in London.