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Tatas buy Boston's Ritz-Carlton for $170 m

Bombay House's aspiration to have a global footprint in various sectors shows no sign of abating, reports Gaurav Choudhury.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2006 19:38 IST

Bombay House's aspiration to have a global footprint in various sectors shows no sign of abating. Weeks after announcing India's biggest overseas acquisition plan yet in their $7.6 billion bid for Anglo-Dutch steel maker Corus, the Tatas on Friday announced that they will buy Ritz-Carlton, a premium hotel in Boston, for $170 million.

The acquisition by Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces, a collective name given to Indian Hotels Company and its subsidiaries, will be completed by January 11 next year, when the Taj group will take over the hotel's management.

The hotel, currently owned by Millennium Partners, is set to be renamed as the Taj Boston and "will reflect the world-renowned characteristics of the Taj brand: unparalleled accommodations and unrivalled service," the Taj group said in a statement.

Taj Boston will become the company's second hotel property in the United States. Last year, Taj Hotels entered into a lease agreement to operate and manage The Pierre, a landmark luxury hotel on New York's Fifth Avenue.

The Ritz-Carlton, which has 273 rooms, is located next to the well-known Boston Public Garden and the city's premiere retail district. It completed a $50 million restoration and refurbishment plan in 2002.

Galileo Global Advisors, a New York-based firm, advised the Tatas in the transaction.

"The Ritz-Carlton is one of New England's finest hotels and a premiere social address in Boston. We are delighted to extend our presence in the United States with this renowned hotel. Its rich heritage, superb location and grand architecture make it an ideal fit for Taj," said Raymond Bickson, managing director of Indian Hotels Company Ltd.

"The addition of this hotel to Taj Hotels's growing international portfolio reiterates our commitment to establishing a significant presence for the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces brand in key destinations across the globe," said Bickson.

David M Gibbons has been named as the new general manager for the Taj Boston. No job losses are envisaged.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity to bring the Taj brand of luxury and service to a building that already has a sterling reputation for refinement and taste," said Gibbons.

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces operate 75 hotels. These include 59 hotels in 40 locations across India and 16 international hotels in places such as Australia, the Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, the UK, the US, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East.

First Published: Nov 10, 2006 19:38 IST