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Thursday, September 27, 2007

EIH ends brand alliance with Hilton

EIH Ltd, a member of the Oberoi Group, has decided to terminate its strategic alliance with Hilton International Co for marketing and co-branding the Trident Hilton brand in the country.

According to Mr P.R.S. Oberoi, Chairman of EIH Ltd, the company today sent out a notice to Hilton of its decision, which will take effect from March 31, 2008.

Mr S.S.Mukherji, Managing Director of EIH Ltd, told Business Line that it was purely a business decision, as the company had too much at stake (some 1,300) in terms of additional rooms under the Trident brand in the next three years.

According to Mr Oberoi, consequently, the existing Trident Hilton hotels in Gurgaon, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur, Bhubaneshwar, Chennai and Kochi will be re-branded Trident Hotels, effective from April 1, 2008.

He clarified that The Hilton Towers in Mumbai will also be re-branded as Trident Towers effective from April next.Outlining the underlying strategy behind the move, Mr Oberoi said that EIH wished to independently pursue the development of its Trident brand in the country. “The outlook for our Trident brand is excellent. We are very confident that our Trident Hotels will continue to expand successfully.”
Market leadership

He said the Trident in Gurgaon has enjoyed a position of market leadership in Delhi from the day it opened. “Our 440-room Trident, located at Bandra Kurla in Mumbai, will open in 2008 and is expected to be a market leader in north Mumbai.”

EIH now had new Trident hotel projects committed at the new international airport in Bangalore and at the Hitech City in Hyderabad. “We have a number of opportunities for new Trident Hotels in other cities which we are pursuing.” The Oberois, as announced, have already lined up investments of nearly Rs 1,000 crore in new hotel projects.

Hilton is already pursuing a joint venture with the DLF Group for both the Hilton and the Hilton Garden Inn (lower end) hotels. According to Mr Mukherji, at some future date, there may be too much confusion in the minds of customers with many types of Hilton hotels in the country.

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