The Leela Kovalam (Source: Leela Hotels Twitter)

Leela Suitor Is Said to Plan Overseas Expansion for Indian Chain

(Bloomberg) -- A consortium including investment firm Trinity White City Ventures is planning to aggressively expand Hotel Leelaventure Ltd. if its bid for the Indian hospitality firm is successful.

The investor group plans to expand Hotel Leelaventure’s business in India, Asia and other parts of the world after fixing its immediate financial issues, according to a letter to the company and its creditors obtained by Bloomberg. The consortium, which is also backed by Thailand’s Minor International Pcl, has earmarked $100 million for growing the Mumbai-based hotel chain, the letter shows.

The suitors have offered $350 million to take over the business and are seeking a 90 percent stake, according to the letter, dated Nov. 27. The bid includes a mixture of equity and debt. The consortium intends to grow the Leela chain’s operations organically and through acquisitions.

“We believe a prudent combination of hotels and residences in a luxury hub-and-spoke model in India and Asia is a fantastic and unfulfilled market need,” Trinity White City Ventures wrote in the letter. “We expect to consolidate other assets in line with the increasing importance and size of the APAC market to become a leading global brand.”

A representative for Trinity White City Ventures confirmed the contents of the letter, while a representative for Hotel Leelaventure declined to comment. Jutatip Adulbhan, vice president of investor relations at Minor, said she has no knowledge of the matter.

Hotel Leelaventure runs a chain of hotels and resorts, with nine properties it owns or manages across India, according to the company’s latest annual report. Its luxury properties include The Leela Palace Udaipur, situated on picturesque Lake Pichola, and The Leela Kovalam, located on a beachside cliff in the southern state of Kerala.

Minor has been expanding through acquisitions, spending 2.3 billion euros ($2.6 billion) this year to take control of Spanish chain NH Hotel Group SA.

Trinity White City Ventures, the family office of Shahal Khan, was behind an aborted attempt to acquire New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel earlier this year. The $600 million deal fell apart amid a series of lawsuits over the sale process, and the historic property was eventually sold to a Qatari state-owned company.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.