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Tata demands apology from Orient Express

Dec 20, 2007 05:37 PM IST Business Business
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New Delhi: Tata Group on Wednesday accused the management of Orient Express group of hotels of a “fossilised frame of mind” for suggesting the Indian group’s hotel chain would be an unsuitable strategic partner, and has demanded a public apology. In the latest salvo, Indian hotels has demanded for what it considers a 'pejorative, inaccurate and libelous' letter that Orient Hotels also issued as a press release though it was meant to be confidential. Orient hotels had said, “We believe any association of our luxury brands and properties with your brands and properties would result in a reduction in the value of our brands and business.” Indian hotels have now given a point-by-point rebuttal to the Orient Hotel's letter.

  • Taj Hotels insists it never suggested a merger.
  • Neither does it need Orient's help to improve the performance of it's non-Indian properties. Infact Orient has gaps in it's network in New York and London that could have been filled by Taj.
  • An association would not reduce the value of Orient's properties because Taj enjoys a higher room occupancy rate and is also more profitable.
  • That contrary to Orient's allegation Taj does not re-brand all acquired hotels as 'Taj'.
  • Taj believes Orient Hotels has not met it's shareholders needs nor does it respect the basic tenets of corporate governance as it has refused to enter into any meaningful dialogue on an alliance with Taj.
Interestingly Indian Hotels says many Orient shareholders have made advances to meet but the company has honourably declined them. Now Taj wants an apology from Orient Express. But here's the clincher from Taj when it says, "We believe that those with a fossilised frame of mind risk being marginalised!”

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