Louvre Hotels Group Buys into Sarovar Hotels and Becomes One of the Largest Hotel Groups in India

Date: February 2018

Location: India

Name: Sarovar Hotels – Sarovar Premiere, Sarovar Portico and Hometel

Seller: Sarovar Hotels, which was founded in 1994 by Anil Madhok, a hotel industry expert on India, Singapore, and Sri Lanka markets.

It is run by Ajay K. Bakaya and Mansoor Adil who have built it into a robust and effective hotel platform combining marketing, human resources, operations, management and technical services.

Leveraging its hotel expertise, Sarovar has developed significantly over the past five years, growing from 4,500 to nearly 6,000 rooms in over 50 cities.

Sarovar has a secured pipeline of over 20 hotels, most of which are due to join the network shortly.

Over the last few years, Sarovar also started to develop its brands outside its boundaries, targeting Africa, and more significantly Eastern Africa, which de facto also strengthens Louvre Hotels Group positioning as the largest hotel group in this part of the world.

In addition to the above three brands, the group also has two well established F&B brands, The Geoffrey’s Pub and the Oriental Blossom, and manages the lodging and catering facilities of various institutions in India. Furthermore, the group manages 10 hotels under the Radisson, Park Plaza and Park Inn brands.

Sarovar was advised by Avendus Capital. Private equity players Bessemer and New Vernon which had invested in Sarovar Hotels in 2005 and held a 30 per cent stake have now exited the group, confirmed Ajay Bakaya, executive director, Sarovar Hotels.

Buyer: Louvre Hotels Group, the 2nd largest hotel group in Europe, announces its acquisition of a majority stake in Sarovar Hotels, the largest independent Indian hotel chain in terms of hotels and presence.

Louvre currently owns the brands: Campanile, Kyriad, Tulip Inn, Golden Tulip, Royal Tulip and Premiere Class. Louvre is a subsidiary of Jin Jiang International Holdings, of China.

The European hotel group continues to rollout its international expansion plans with this, its first investment of size in the Indian subcontinent. India, with its fast-growing economy, its global tourism potential and a significant under-penetration of branded hotel rooms, represents a new opportunity and a strategic market of more than 1.2 billion inhabitants for the group.

After launching a far-reaching scheme to strengthen its positions in China and South-East Asia, Louvre Hotels Group continues to boost its presence in South Asia, keeping up with the region’s constantly growing leisure and business tourism.

The group has decided to become a majority stakeholder in Sarovar Hotels, an Indian company made up of 75 hotels on the premium, mid-range and budget sectors, through it’s 3 leading brands.

Both hotel groups share the desire to continue developing Sarovar Hotels brands. This powerful platform will also sustain the development of Louvre Hotels Group brand which has been present in the Indian sub-continent since 2007 and currently manages 22 hotels under its Golden Tulip Umbrella brand.

Louvre was advised by Achin Khanna, managing director of consulting and valuation practice at HVS.

Louvre Hotels was founded in 1976 by the Taittinger Family as a French business and was acquired by Jin Jiang in February 2015 for €1.3bn. Louvre operates 1,233 hotels in 54 countries. Pierre-Frédéric Roulot is CEO of Louvre Hotels.

Although Louvre does have hotel assets in France where it owns 250 hotels and in Germany and Poland where it acquired 21 hotels recently, Roulot said there were no immediate plans to acquire properties in India.

THPT Comment: This reconciliation between Louvre Hotels Group and Sarovar Hotels makes it the world’s 5th largest hotel group. We believe that Louvre beat Wyndham in the race to buy this stake. We believe the value of the deal was US$50m.

First Seen: Go South Asia