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Orient-Express Spurns Indian Hotels' Overtures
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The Indian Hotels Company Acquires 10% Stake in Orient-Express Hotels
for US$ 211 million Seeking Proposed Alliance


September 17, 2007 - The Indian Hotels Company is looking forward to the process of discussions with Orient-Express Hotels to form an alliance. The alliance is aimed at leveraging global networks and building brand equity for both companies in a unique relationship. As a commitment to this proposed alliance, IHCL, through its wholly owned subsidiary Samsara Properties, has acquired a strategic stake of approximately 10 per cent in Orient-Express Hotels at a total investment of US$ 211.28 million. This is a reflection of its deep commitment to the possibility of an association with Orient-Express Hotels. 

Orient-Express Hotels owns or part owns and manages 35 hotels in 25 countries, besides luxury trains and cruises. Its properties are fabled for their uniqueness and each is a destination in itself.

RK Krishna Kumar, vice chairman, IHCL commented: "Over the past few years, we have pursued the objective of growing the Taj brand internationally. As part of this strategy, we have been pursuing alliances and relationships with leading hotel groups that have not yet set up a presence in India, but have secured leadership positions in various geographies. This move is in line with our plans and we look forward to pursuing a possible association between IHCL and the company that has earned a great reputation for its outstanding ultra luxury hotels, trains and cruises. 

"The possible combination of the two brands will create a powerful competitive advantage. The synergies which can be developed will strongly leverage the huge opportunity in the global market as also the exploding Indian hospitality industry. We are committed to working together in a friendly and supportive manner with Orient-Express Hotels." 
 

Release Issued by OEH
Orient-Express Hotels Not in Talks With Indian Hotels Company Ltd

HAMILTON, Bermuda, September 18, 2007 - Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. (NYSE: OEH, http://www.orient-express.com) today stated that it has received the letter from The Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) dated September 14, 2007 and included in IHCL's SEC Schedule 13-D filing dated September 17, 2007 and has reviewed the press release issued by IHCL on the same date.

Following a meeting of the Board of Directors of Orient-Express Hotels, President and Chief Executive Officer Paul White confirmed that Orient-Express Hotels' management has not entered into strategic discussions with IHCL, the Taj hotels group or any of their affiliates. The company has today responded to IHCL stating that it does not wish to pursue the proposals for discussion contained in their letter.

The Orient-Express Hotels portfolio of hotels and other travel related services is aimed specifically at the top end of the luxury travel market, and the company believes its future growth plans should continue to focus on this segment as an independent company.

Backgrounder on The Indian Hotels Company 

Profile

The Indian Hotels Company and its subsidiaries are collectively known as Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, recognised as one of Asia's largest and finest hotel company. Incorporated by the founder of the Tata Group, Jamsetji N Tata, the company opened its first property, The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Bombay, in 1903. The Taj, a symbol of Indian hospitality, completed its centenary year in 2003. Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces comprises 59 hotels at 40 locations across India with an additional 17 international hotels in the Maldives, Mauritius, Malaysia, United Kingdom, United States of America, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa, the Middle East and Australia.

The company has had a long-standing commitment to the continued development of the Indian tourism and hospitality industry. From the 1970s through the 1990s, the Taj played an important role in launching several of India's key tourist destinations. Working in tandem with the Indian government, the Taj developed resorts and retreats while the government developed roads and railways to India's hidden treasures.

Areas of business

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces is grouped into Luxury, Leisure and Business categories to provide consistency across the different hotels and standardise products and services. 

As early as 1974, the Taj opened India's first international beach resort ó Fort Aguada Beach Resort ó in Goa. Today, Goa is one of South Asia's most popular beach resort destinations.

The presence of Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces internationally has been developed through a network of Taj regional sales and PR offices in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Dubai, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and the USA.

During the past year Taj Hotels strengthened its presence in the Indian Ocean rim. Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Mauritius, opened its doors to guests. End-2005 saw the unveiling of the entirely renovated and upgraded Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives.

Taj Hotels further expanded its global footprint by securing management contracts at Palm Island, Jumeirah in Dubai, Langkawi in Malaysia and Thimpu in Bhutan. The most significant addition to the portfolio has been The Pierre, the iconic landmark hotel on New York's Fifth Avenue.

It operates Taj Air, a luxury private jet operation with state-of-the-art Falcon 2000 aircrafts designed by Dassault Aviation, France; and Taj Yachts, two 3-bedroom luxury yachts which can be used by guests in Mumbai and Kochi, in Kerala.

It also operates Taj Sats Air Catering, the largest airline catering service in South Asia, as a joint venture with Singapore Airport Terminal Services, a subsidiary of Singapore Airlines.

Taj Wellington Mews Luxury Residences is a complex of 80 luxurious serviced apartments in South Mumbai. This is a new foray in the service apartments category.

Additionally, Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces established the Indian Institute of Hotel Management, Aurangabad in 1993. The institute offers a three-year diploma, designed with the help of international faculty and has affiliations with several American and European programmes.

Associate companies and joint ventures

The Indian Hotels Company is the Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces' parent company, owning around a third of the group's inventory of rooms. The balance of room inventory is with associate companies and joint ventures.

Corporate social responsibility

The key theme of corporate social responsibility at the company is to build livelihoods with a clear focus on women, craftsmen and artisans; and the education of children. Employees of all hotels and the corporate offices contribute and actively participate in numerous on-going events and projects. The core competencies of the hospitality business have been utilised to make these themes truly relevant and meaningful.
 

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Contact:

Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces
Oxford House
15 / 17 N. F. Street
Apollo Bunder 
Mumbai 400 001 
India
http://www.tata.com/
 www.tajhotels.com

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Also See: Vikram Singh Appointed General Manager of Campton Place, San Francisco, Tajís Third U.S. Hotel / May 2007
Kor Hotel Group Selling Campton Place Hotel in San Francisco to Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces for $58 million; Secures Significant Profit Following Eighteen-Month Ownership / April 2007
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