Chicago: Curtains are not yet down on Tatas’ offer to buy out global premium hotel chain Orient Express, but India’s most-visible business house in the US is scouting for more luxury hotels in America.
“We are looking for luxury business hotels in New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami,” said David P Good, chief representative for North America, Tata Sons, on the sidelines of a FICCI-US India Business Council Summit here.
Asked whether the group was disappointed over Orient Express spurning the Tatas takeover offer, Good said the Orient Express story is still unfolding.
Ruling out any hostile takeover move, which is against the Tatas’ business ethics, Good said “we are in touch with some of the Orient Express shareholders and we are still working with management”.
Good said the impression of the management that an Indian hotel chain cannot run a premium class international hotel was not sufficiently backed by facts. “We have made it known to them that their impression was not right,” he said.
The Tata Group, which is on a global acquisition spree, is looking for buying hotels in the US at a time when it may get a good bargain in the face of slowdown in the American economy.
The group has enough resources to buy out several properties, using its own internal war chest and leveraging capacity to raise money both in India and the US, Good said.
Good said the acquisition plan is not restricted to hotels, but extends to any company that complements our businesses in India.
The Tata conglomerate has business interests ranging from chemicals, steel, automobiles and hotels to information technology on an international scale.
While the Tatas have recently completed some of the big-ticket acquisitions like Corus, its offer for the Orient Express was rejected by the management, which went to the extent of making remarks projecting Indian businesses in poor light. Their comments evoked sharp responses not only from the Tatas but also from the most of the domestic industry and the government.