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France's Louvre circling Sarovar Hotels

Saturday, October 15, 2016, 11:35 Hrs  [IST]
By HBI Staff | Mumbai

As per a report in DNA, Paris-based Europe’s second-largest hotel chain Louvre Hotels Group (LHG) is in talks to acquire Anil Madhok-promoted Sarovar Hotels & Resorts. Sarovar is on the block for second time after the earlier talks with global hospitality major Wyndham Hotel Group (WHG) failed due to valuation disagreement.

DNA Money had reported that development in March. Industry sources told DNA Money that the management of Louvre and Sarovar have initiated discussions for the deal.

“While the Sarovar management has been talking to a few other potential buyers, Louvre is emerging to be a strong contender with a high possibility of taking the deal to its logical conclusion,” said a source. Vimal Singh, MD - South Asia, Golden Tulip Hospitality Group and Louvre Hotels (Indian JV firm), refused to offer any comment. Louvre’s Indian joint venture operates 21 hotels.

After the deal with Wyndham fell through, Sarovar management has been pursuing new hotel openings to beef up its portfolio. It earmarked INR 2.5 crore to INR 3 crore for its television campaign.

“These initiatives were largely for increasing market valuation and garnering a higher exit value,” said another source. Ajay K Bakaya, executive director, Sarovar Hotels Pvt Ltd, did not respond to phone calls and text messages. Interestingly, that Louvre’s India JV partner Vimal Singh is also looking to sell his stake to the parent and exit the business. However, Singh denied any such possibilities. “The plan, as and when the Sarovar deal gets concluded, is that after Singh’s exit, Louvre will be 100% owned by the parent and (Ajay) Bakaya will be at its helm of the affairs,” sources said.

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