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Lotus Hotel Investment Fund, a US$1 billion Private Equity Fund, Aligns with
Carlson Hotels to Target Hotel Development in China and India

HONG KONG, 10 OCTOBER, 2007 - Carlson Hotels Worldwide Asia Pacific today announced a major strategic alliance with the Lotus Hotel  Investment Fund, a new US$1 billion private equity fund which is being set up  to target hotel development opportunities in high-growth markets across the  region including China, India, Thailand and Vietnam.

The alliance, which was announced jointly by Martin Rinck, President and  Managing Director of Carlson Hotels Worldwide Asia Pacific and Arun Amarsi, CEO of London-based Lotus Hotel Investment Fund, will take advantage of surging demand for world-class hotels in the major business and leisure markets across Asia. The alliance will focus primarily on strategic development opportunities in China and India, along with other key growth markets in the region.

Martin Rinck said: "This is a great opportunity to combine the power of Carlson's world-class hotel brands with the proven expertise of the Lotus management team to maximize the huge potential we see in these markets". He added: "Over the last five years, Carlson Hotels Worldwide has built a fantastic foundation in Asia and with this new alliance, we are poised to accelerate rapidly into the future".

Martin Rinck commenced his new position at Carlson Hotels Worldwide Asia Pacific in Singapore on 1st October after joining from The Rezidor Hotel Group in Europe, where he led business development for four years. During this period, the company doubled the size of its hotel portfolio to more than 300 properties open or under development.  In addition, Martin played an instrumental role in taking the company public in November 2006 on the OMX stock exchange. The Rezidor Hotel Group manages Carlson Hotel brands in Europe, Middle East and Africa, including Regent Hotels & Resorts, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn.

Arun Amarsi, CEO of Lotus Hotel Investment Fund, commented: "We are in the process of launching this new fund and are delighted to have Carlson Hotels Worldwide as one of our brand partners. This is a true meeting of minds, because we share the same business philosophy and desire to seize the exciting opportunities which we see in markets such as China and India, in particular".

Mr. Amarsi has significant experience in the hospitality sector gained from his previous role as CEO and Managing Director of the Singapore-based investment company BIL International Ltd. Lotus Hotels Investment Fund will be a specialist provider of capital focused on both new hotel developments and refurbishment / re-branding opportunities to provide significant financial returns for its investors.

Carlson Hotels Worldwide Asia Pacific already manages the largest portfolio of hotels of any international hotel group operating in India and is continuing to expand its presence in other key markets across the region, including China, where it has more than doubled its presence over the last four years. Recent highlights include the opening of Regent hotels in Shanghai and Beijing.

Singapore-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide - Asia Pacific is the regional headquarters for Carlson Hotels Worldwide in the Asia-Pacific region and is supported by reservations, sales and development offices in Tokyo, Shanghai, New Delhi and Sydney.  Carlson Hotels Worldwide, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, includes five hotel brands: Regent Hotels & Resorts, one of the most respected brands in the luxury segment of the hotel industry; Radisson Hotels & Resorts®, one of the world's leading upscale, full-service hotel brands; Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, positioned in the mid-scale segment of the full-service hotel category and known for its great value and customer-focused service culture; Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, one of the fastest growing, mid-scale hotel brands; and Park Inn®, a unique emerging hotel brand offering a relaxed environment in the economy category.  

Carlson Hotels Worldwide is one of the major operating groups of Carlson, a global leader in providing corporate solutions and consumer services in the marketing, travel and hospitality industries.  Other names in the Carlson family of brands and services are: T.G.I. Friday's® restaurants, Regent Seven Seas Cruises®, Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, and Carlson Marketing Group®, the largest relationship marketing services company in the United States.  

Lotus Hotel Fund is being set up as a Pan Asia specialist hotel fund with a focus on China, India and South East Asia.  The fund targets hotels for both development and turnaround / re-branding opportunities and will partner with global and regional brands to operate them under management contracts.  The Fund comprises senior industry professionals with expertise in hotels, Asia, finance and business development. 

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Contact:

Carlson Hotels Worldwide
http://www.carlson.com/

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Also See: Martin Rinck Appointed President and Managing Director of Carlson Hotels Worldwide Asia Pacific / August 2007
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