|By Meenakshi Verma Ambwani, The Economic
Times, IndiaMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
April 20, 2011--NEW DELHI: American hospitality firm, Carlson Hotels, will renew the contract with joint venture partner, Ranjan Bhattacharya-promoted Chanakya Hotels, to manage hotels under its mid-market brand Country Inn & Suites in India for the next ten years.
At present, the management contract for 11 properties under the brand is with Country Development & Management Services (CDMS) - a 26:74 joint venture between Carlson and Ranjan Bhattacharya who is the foster son-inlaw of former Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The JV was formed in 1998 and the contract awarded to CDMS is expiring by the end of this year. Carlson has decided to continue its partnership with Bhattacharya even as it has taken direct control over its other hotel brands in India. Last year, Carlson bought out its local partner in a separate joint venture RHW Hospitality, which manages Radisson, Park Inn and Park Plaza hotels.
This firm has now been renamed as Carlson Hotels, South Asia. KB Kachru, executive vice-president of Carlson Hotels South Asia said the company has different strategies for different brands. "While we decided to consolidate our three brands through the acquisition of RHW Hospitality, we have decided to continue with our JV partnership with CDMS for expanding Country Inn & Suites," he said.
Carlson expects to expand the brand to 50 hotels through CDMS in the next 10 years, with five hotels slated to open this year in Gurgaon, Mysore, Mussorie, New Delhi and Ajmer.
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