Home >Companies >Indian Hotels sole bidder for Taj Mansingh, auction likely to be stalled again

Mumbai: The auction of New Delhi’s Taj Mansingh hotel may again be stalled as Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) is the only bidder for the 292-room luxury property, said an official aware of the development.

On 24 April , New Delhi Municipality Council (NDMC) came up with fresh dates to submit bids for the hotel, which is operated by the Taj group. The last date for submission of bids was 7 June, while the final auction was scheduled for 20 June. The earlier auction scheduled for 30 January was scrapped after criticism that the tender terms kept many potential bidders out.

“Indian Hotels is the only bidder for Taj Mansingh. With just one bidder, the auction would be nullified and may be postponed," said the official quoted above.

Email queries sent to NDMC remained unanswered.

A Taj spokesperson has confirmed that the company has bid for the hotel.

Unlike the previous tender, the new notice had opened up the doors to bidders other than hotel owners with the condition that they must have a hotel partner with at least 700 rooms and annual revenue of more than Rs400 crore. Financial investors were not allowed to bid on their own.

Last year, the Supreme Court allowed NDMC to auction the Taj Mahal hotel on Mansingh Road, rejecting IHCL’s claim over the property. IHCL, which runs the Taj chain of hotels across the country and abroad, had taken the property on a 33-year lease that expired in 2011. The Tata group company got several temporary lease extensions subsequently.

“Bidders might be hesitant given that the 33-year lease period is relatively short to make good of the big investment that is required on the hotel. Second, these kinds of deals could have been made sweeter if the nodal agency took care of formalities and created a mechanism for faster approval from local departments," said a person, on condition of anonymity, aware of the matter.

NDMC had also put out fresh tenders to auction two other hotels — The Connaught Hotel at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Marg and Hotel Asian International on 1, Janpath Lane in New Delhi. While the 85-room Connaught Hotel would be auctioned on 20 June, Hotel Asian International would be auctioned on 21 June.

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