Indian Hotels, Sarovar, Byke in race to acquire The Connaught1 min read . Updated: 11 Jun 2018, 05:56 PM IST
In May 2016, NDMC had sealed The Connaught after probe into the murder of estate officer M.M. Khan revealed the involvement of then promoter Ramesh Kakkar
Mumbai: Indian Hotels Co. Ltd (IHCL), which runs the Taj chain of hotels, and Sarovar Hotels Ltd are among the three hotel chains vying for New Delhi’s The Connaught, an 85-room premium hotel, which was shut down two years ago.
Mumbai-based hospitality firm Byke Hotels and Resorts, which has presence in Jaipur, Manali and Kovalam, has also submitted its bids, said a company official, on the condition of anonymity.
Spokespersons for IHCL, Sarovar Group and Byke Hotels confirmed the development. The final auction will be held on 20 June.
In May 2016, New Delhi Municipality Council (NDMC) had sealed the hotel, after investigations into the controversial murder of an estate officer revealed the involvement of Ramesh Kakkar, the then promoter of the hotel.
Kakkar, who owed around ₹ 140 crore as licence fee to the civic body, along with six others, was arrested for the murder of M.M. Khan, an NDMC official killed a day before he was to pass the final order on the property’s lease terms.
NDMC has also put up two other hotels, The Taj Mahal hotel or the Taj Mansingh, and Asian International Hotel at Janpath, on the block.
While the auction of Taj Mansingh is likely to be delayed, given that it has not received enough bidders, Asian International Hotel has received three bids, said one person aware of the development.
On 8 June, Mint had reported that IHCL, the current operator of Taj Mansingh, had emerged as the only bidder for the iconic property.
The three bidders of the 38-room room Asian International include IHCL, Byke Hotels and Bloom Hotel group. Spokespersons for IHCL and Byke Hospitality confirmed submitting of the bids, while queries to Bloom Hotel group remained unanswered.
IHCL had announced to scale up its mid-scale hotels. In case the Taj group wins, these two properties could be used to expand their economy hotel chains, said a person involved in the bidding.
“Both the hotels are at great locations, but the potential problem is that these hotels were constructed 40-50 years ago. While the structure of the buildings is a problem, the building bylaws and fire laws have changed completely. That is something the bidders are grappling with," said another person involved in the bidding process.