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Taj sells Blue Sydney to Ovolo

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Taj Hotels’ investment arm has sold the Blue Sydney hotel to the owner of Ovolo.

Samsara Properties Limited, an offshore wholly owned subsidiary of The Indian Hotels Company Limited, announced has executed a share sale deed for the divestment of 100% of its shareholding in Blue Sydney, A Taj Hotel, in favour of Australia Hotels and Properties Limited.

The buyer is the Hong Kong based Hind Hotels and Properties Group, which operates hotels and serviced apartments under the Ovolo brand.

Subject to fulfillment of certain conditions, the transaction is scheduled to be completed by October 31, 2014 and the transaction value is $AUD32 million.

The property will then undergo a renovation with the implementation of Ovolo’s unique style and brand standards and will be rebranded as an Ovolo hotel after the upgrade is complete.

In a statement, the Indian Hotels Company said the “divestment has been undertaken as part of the Taj Group’s strategy to focus on markets which are core to Group’s operations, and to create liquidity to fund the company’s ongoing expansion in such markets”.

The company said Asia Pacific, and particularly China, have been identified as targets for expansion.

“We are committed to the sale of Blue Sydney to its new owners, Hind Hotels and Properties Group,” said The Indian Hotels Company Limited’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Raymond Bickson.

“The hotel has a wonderful track record of high occupancy, a stellar list of industry awards and has set new Australian benchmarks for environmental practices,” he said.

“This decision is in line with our Group strategy to focus on key markets for now, that are critical to the Groups operations.”

The company said the sale of Blue Sydney, A Taj Hotel, “does not reflect any diminution of the group’s interest in the Australian market… Australia is the fifth largest source market for Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, and outbound Australian business in particular remains a high priority for the Group”.

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