Hilton to Take Hampton Brand to India in $200M Deal

Capitalizing on India’s booming business and leisure markets, Hilton Hotels has agreed to join forces with Marigold Hospitality Ltd. to develop 16 Hampton by Hilton hotels. Marigold, which will invest $200 to $250 million in the endeavor, will be responsible for acquiring the sites and developing the properties. For Hilton, the agreement paves the way for the company’s Hampton brand to make its entrée into India. Marigold, a joint venture involving Palm Holdings and Trikona Capital formed for the purpose of investing in hotels in India, will complete the acquisition of sites for the first hotels by the close of the second quarter. Construction of the initial group of lodging facilities is on target to begin this year, with the first Hampton making its debut within the next two years. All told, the planned 16 hotels will create approximately 2,000 new guestrooms. Palm Holdings subsidiary Palm Hospitality will oversee management of the properties. Developers across the globe have been pouncing on India since the government scaled back foreign investment restrictions three years ago, and those in the hotel sector are no exception. Hotel investment in the country, according to a report by real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels, jumped to a record high of $380 million in 2007, spurred by a lack of product to accommodate increasing demand. The list of players targeting India is along one and includes Millennium and Copthorne Hotels Plc, which announced the formation of a joint venture earlier this month for its entrée into the country with the planned development of hotels in South India. InterContinental Hotels Group is expanding its presence, with 14 Holiday Inn properties presently in various stages of development for the ultimate delivery of 3,700 new rooms in 11 Indian cities within the next three years. Beverly Hills-based Hilton Hotels Corp. is a top global hospitality concern with a portfolio exceeding 3,000 hotels that encompass a total of approximately 500,000 guest rooms in 76 countries and territories.