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Business News/ News / India/  Ambuja Neotia buys Tree of Life Resorts
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Ambuja Neotia buys Tree of Life Resorts

Tree of Life, which launched in 2009, runs boutique hotels in 14 locations in India with an inventory of about 200 rooms.

Harshvardhan Neotia, chairman, Ambuja Neotia GroupPremium
Harshvardhan Neotia, chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group

New Delhi: Kolkata-based Ambuja Neotia group has acquired Gurugram-based hotel ownership and management company, Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels for a deal pegged at 70-80 crore, people close to the development said.

Tree of Life, which launched in 2009, runs boutique hotels in 14 locations in India with an inventory of about 200 rooms.

Three people aware of the deal told Mint that the acquisition value is between 70-80 crore and that this includes the sale of its brand as well as three of the company’s assets in Varanasi, Jaipur and Agra. While Varanasi and Jaipur are hotels, Agra is a land parcel that will need to be developed.

Ambuja Neotia, primarily focused on real estate development, also has interests in healthcare, education and hospitality. This brand will be acquired under the Ambuja Neotia Hotel Ventures Ltd, a subsidiary of Ambuja Neotia Holdings Private Ltd.

While it did not comment on the price, in a statement, Ambuja Neotia said this augments its position in the hospitality industry. It said it currently owns about 750 keys or rooms across its portfolio managed by some hospitality brands.

In June, it signed a new hotel with Indian Hotels Company Ltd (IHCL) under the Taj Ganga Kutir Resort & Spa brand in Raichak in West Bengal. The 155-room hotel joined a list of seven agreements it has with IHCL to manage its properties.

Since quite a few of the Tree of Life’s assets too were under management contracts, it is expected that IHCL will take over these contracts, said people close to the development.

Harshavardhan Neotia, the company’s chairperson, in his statement added, “This acquisition represents a significant step in our journey to provide exceptional experiences. We are excited to integrate the properties into our portfolio."

Himmat Anand, who founded Tree of Life Resorts & Hotels in 2009, said, “I believe it is time for the company to achieve even greater success under new leadership. I could not have found a better person than Neotia and the group as the ideal successors to lead the organization to new heights."

“Anand had created a successful product and brand - he was very keen to sell the business and brand along with its assets to a group that shared that vision towards "luxury", “quality", “boutique". Ambuja Neotia did not have a presence in the north of the country. So this was a good fit in that sense,“ Vijay Thacker, partner and CEO at Horwath HTL Consultants, which acted as an advisor to the deal, told Mint.

Ambuja Neotia has appointed a new CEO, Vinoth Ram, to head the resort and hotel business. The company has been in the hospitality business since 1997 when it started the operation of The Ffort Raichak. Adjacent to this property, it said is a spa cum resort development, Ganga Kutir and its extension, Sundarawasala.

The company also owns other real estate projects which include the Shyamolima, the Shimana and Surabhi. It said it has also undertaken real estate projects at Raichak. namely the Ganga Awas, the Ganga Kutir Residency and Gardenia II, among others. As per hospitality consultancy Hotelivate, in a report from FY21, organized room supply in India grew by 3.3% over in 2020. India has about 144,000 branded rooms including the 4,093 new rooms launched last year.

“Lifestyle focused hotel concepts continue to gain traction with both guests and investors. This, coupled with the boutique and experiential ethos of Tree of Life Resorts, makes for an interesting growth story. The recent acquisition is promising news for the future of this segment of hospitality," said Achin Khanna, managing partner of Hotelivate. Khanna heads the firm’s strategic advisory practice.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Varuni Khosla
Varuni is an Assistant Editor at Mint. She writes engaging and informative stories on luxury brands, hospitality news, business of sports, business of advertising and marketing, gaming, tourism and travel, and the business of alcohol. She is skilled in communication, research, and analysis. Varuni is passionate about covering the latest trends and developments in the lifestyle and business sectors.
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Published: 03 Nov 2023, 11:31 AM IST
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