Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC has tied up with Tata Group’s Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) to invest whopping SGD790 million (INR40 billion) to acquire hotels.
According to an official statement, IHCL will put in 30 per cent equity in every such acquisition, while the rest will come from GIC.
The joint platform will look at potential hotel assets in India including fully operational hotels in the luxury, upper upscale and upscale segments in India. Investments will be made in the course of three years.
IHCL runs hospitality brands including Taj, Vivanta and Ginger.
Puneet Chhatwal, IHCL's managing director and chief executive, said, “This collaboration is in line with Aspiration 2022 and our vision to scale up, create greater enterprise value and make IHCL South Asia's most iconic and profitable hospitality company.”
“The company expects to acquire strategic and marquee assets that need new ownership, branding and positioning through the platform,” he added.
Kok Sun Lee, GIC Real Estate's chief investment officer, said, “As a long-term investor, we are confident on the outlook of India's hospitality sector. We look forward to working closely with established partners such as IHCL to pursue attractive opportunities and capture the sector's growth potential.”
IHCL will adopt an asset-light model to pursue the acquisitions. Each acquisition is intended to be in a separate special purpose vehicle with its own funding. The hotels acquired will be managed by IHCL under its various brands and complement the company's current growth aspirations via management contracts.
Notably, the total inventory in the premium category (luxury, upper upscale and upscale segments) is pegged at 118,000 rooms and the segment is growing at a 3-4 per cent a year.