ORIENT-Express Hotels has denied a claim by Indian Hotels that the two companies are discussing a strategic alliance.
The move follows Indian Hotels saying it had acquired a 10 per cent stake in Orient-Express for $211.28 million (£106.1 million) and that the two groups were talking about merging their interests.
Orient-Express – which owns or operates 39 luxury hotels around the world including Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons in Oxfordshire – said it had received a letter from Indian Hotels – which owns and operates the Taj brand – detailing the proposal and its acquisition of a 10 per cent stake.
Orient-Express said it did not wish to pursue the proposal, and that the company was “aimed specifically at the top end of the luxury travel market, and believes its future growth plans should continue to focus on this segment as an independent company”.
Indian Hotels said it had been pursuing the objective of growing the Taj brand internationally and the acquisition of a stake in Orient-Express was part of this.