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ITC ties up with RP Group to manage hotels in India, Dubai
Business Standard - 17 Sep 2013

Properties, under the  new MoU, will open in Kerala and Calicut under the brands WelcomHotel Raviz and  three Fortune Raviz hotels in Dubai and Calicut.

ITC  Hotels has tied up with the Bahrain-based India born billionaire Ravi Pillai to  manage five of its hotels under WelcomHotel and Fortune brands in India and  Dubai. For Pillai-led R P Group, this is the second big tie-up with any Indian  hospitality chain. The company had bought Leela Hotel's Kovalam property for Rs  500 crore two years ago.

The  company did not share the duration of the management contract. The properties,  under the new memorandum of understanding, would open in Kerala and Calicut  under the brands WelcomHotel Raviz and three Fortune Raviz hotels in Dubai and  Calicut. Raviz is the hotel brand owned by the R P Group. In India, Pillai has  invested Rs 1,000-1,500 crore in the past year, most of it in the hospitality  sector.

R  P group is also building two five-star hotels in Kozhikode. It has business  interests in construction, healthcare, travel and tourism and education  sectors, with an annual turnover of $3 billion.

ITC  Hotels and R P Group signed a memorandum of understanding for managing these  hotels on September 15. “We will expand both through management contracts and  ownership model. Our strategy is to be asset right. For international  expansion, if there is an opportunity and a brand fit, we are open to  exploring,” said Nakul Anand, executive director, ITC Limited.

As  part of its expansion plans, ITC Hotels would add a “super-premium luxury  hotel” in Mahabalipuram, a WelcomHotel in Jodhpur, Patna and Chandigarh in the  next four years. It also has a pipeline of over 30 hotels under the Fortune  brand by 2017.

The  company currently owns and manages close to 100 hotels in over 70 destinations.

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