Reliance buys New York’s premium luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental for USD 98.15 mn, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld

Reliance buys New York's premium luxury hotel Mandarin Oriental for USD 98.15 mnMandarin Oriental New York, the premium luxury hotel a subsidiary of Reliance Industries is acquiring, is known for its much-in-demand ballroom, five-star spa and eating and drinking venues, including MO Lounge. Liam Neeson and Lucy Liu are among regular guests. Set up in 2003, 248-rooms-and-suites hotel towering over Central Park is an iconic luxury hotel located at 80 Columbus Circle, directly adjacent to the pristine Central Park and Columbus Circle.

Mandarin Oriental New York occupies floors 35-54 and is known for its much-in-demand ballroom, five-star spa and eating and drinking venues, including MO Lounge. Liam Neeson and Lucy Liu are among regular guests.

“Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (“RIL”), has today, entered into an agreement to acquire the entire issued share capital of Columbus Centre Corporation (Cayman), a company incorporated in the Cayman Islands and the indirect owner of a 73.37 per cent stake in Mandarin Oriental New York, one of the premium luxury hotels in New York City for an equity consideration of approximately USD 98.15 million,” the firm said in a stock exchange filing late on Saturday.

This is the second acquisition of an iconic hotel by Reliance in less than a year. In April last year, Reliance acquired Stoke Park Ltd in the UK – an iconic locale that’s been the setting for two James Bond films. The two iconic locales add to its current stake in Oberoi hotels and hotel/managed residences in Mumbai that it’s developing.

Talking about how 2022 can change the business scenario for the Indian hospitality industry, the Hotel Association of India (HAI) and leading players in the luxury travel segment decode the mantra to success in the new year and what travellers can look forward to in terms of offerings.

The latest marquee acquisition for the oil-to-telecom and retail conglomerate marks its pivot toward consumer offerings. Flush with INR 2.6 lakh crore in cash, Ambani is helming a transformation as he seeks to build the digital and retail business into equal-sized pillars for Reliance, paring dependence on profits from its traditional oil refining business.

Over the past five years, Reliance has announced USD 5.7 billion in acquisitions with 45 per cent in TMT and 23.6 per cent in new energy.

Mandarin Oriental New York has global recognition and has won several influential awards, including AAA Five Diamond Hotel, Forbes Five Star Hotel, and Forbes Five Star Spa, among others. It had revenues of USD 115 million in 2018, USD 113 million in 2019 and USD 15 million in 2020, according to the Reliance filing.

“This acquisition will add to the consumer and hospitality footprint of the group. The group already has investments in EIH Ltd (Oberoi Hotels), Stoke Park Limited in the UK and is developing a state-of-the-art convention centre, hotel and managed residences in BKC Mumbai,” it said.

Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism and Hospitality (FAITH) Consulting CEO Aashish Gupta expressed that there is uncertainty within the industry about the impact of the Omicron variant with different inputs coming in from various places regarding its severity and speed of spread.

The closing of the transaction is anticipated to occur by the end of March 2022 and is subject to certain customary regulatory and other approvals and the satisfaction of certain other conditions. “In the event that the other owners of the hotel elect to participate in the sale transaction, RIIHL would acquire the remaining 26.63 per cent, based on the same valuation used for the acquisition of the indirect 73.37 per cent stake,” it added.

RIIHL had in April last year announced the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of Stoke Park, which owns and manages a 49 luxury bedroom and suites hotel, 27-hotel championship golf course, 13 tennis courts and 14 acres of private gardens in Buckinghamshire, for 57 million pounds. Since James Bond played a game with Auric Goldfinger there in the 1964 blockbuster, the estate with the Georgian-era mansion set in the midst of 300 acres of parkland has been a backdrop in productions like ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ and Netflix’s British Royal Family drama ‘The Crown’.

Reliance currently has investments in EIH Ltd apart from developing convention centre, hotel and managed residences in Mumbai. Although the Mandarin Oriental reopened on April 1 last year, it’s been staggered like other leading hotels by the lack of high-spending visitors and business travellers from abroad.

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