New Delhi: Stung by the US super luxury hotel chain Orient Express’ rebuff to be associated with the Tatas-owned Taj Hotels, the Tatas today shot off a letter (full text of the letter) to the American company’s alleging its posture was “libellous”.
Demanding an apology by the American hotel chain to the Taj Hotels, the Tatas said it was a proud Indian company and would persevere with its global expansion strategy.
In the strongly-worded communication to the Orient Express Hotels CEO Paul M White, the chief of the Indian Hotel R K Krishna Kumar said “the purpose of this letter is not to pursue a dialogue directly with you but instead to set the record straight on our intention in approaching your company”.
The Tatas, which acquired an over 10% stake in the Orient Express Hotels, said they had never suggested a merger or compromise the independence of Orient Express.
He said “we ask the Orent Express Hotels to publish a formal apology to the Taj Hotels using the same channel that it had used to publish its letter to the Taj Hotels” . He added Taj Hotels was a proud Indian company and would persist with global expansion strategy.
The tiff between the two hospitality majors started after White wrote to the Indian Hotel chain refusing to be associated with any Indian brand.
The Tatas said the Taj Hotels was interested in an alliance but debunked the claims of the Orient Express chain the partnership was aimed at improving the performance of its non-Indian property.
“The Taj Hotel has invested considerable amount of time and resources based on our belief that working yield better value for both the organizations. We acted in the mistaken belief that your board recognized its siduficiary duties and would act in a responsible manner to begin a dialogue with us”, Kumar said.
“This was extremely distressing to me as Indian Hotel found the letter to be pejorative, inaccurate and libellous”, he added.
White had in his letter of 10 December said that any association with a predominantly domestic Indian brand would diminish the value of Orient Express luxury brand.