Tata pips ITC to retain iconic Taj Mansingh Hotel

The Tata group retained the iconic Taj Mansingh Hotel in an auction by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) after years of litigation.

The auction against the rival group ITC began its bidding at 11 am and ended at 4 pm on Friday.

The property was earlier operated on temporary extensions by the Tata group as the auction was pending since the lease had expired in 2011. However, now the lease for the hotel will be granted to the group for 33 years at double the license fees.

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A senior NDMC official stated, “The Tata group’s Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL) has retained the property at a license fee of Rs. 7.03 crore per month including GST or 32.50 per cent of the gross turnover of the property. Earlier, they were paying Rs. 3.94 crore per month as license fees.”

Failing to auction the luxury hotel in two attempts, the NDMC had last month decided to relax the eligibility criteria for bidders and reduce the minimum number of bids required. The auction had to be put off twice as it got less than the required number of bids for the five-star property to go under the hammer.

Earlier, the civic body had issued an annulment notice for the e-auction in June when it had to be cancelled as only IHCL — the existing operator — had submitted its bid for retaining the property.

The Taj Mansingh was given to the Tata group in 1978 on a lease for 33 years, which ended in 2011. The company, however, was since given nine temporary extensions.

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Meanwhile, the civic body could not auction the property then as it was tied up in a legal battle with the IHCL. Puneet Chhatwal, managing director and chief executive officer of IHCL said, “We are delighted that the iconic Taj Mahal, New Delhi which has been an important part of the cultural and historic fabric of the national capital, will continue to remain a part of the IHCL family.”

“We would like to thank our customers for their enthusiastic support and our employees, who have always offered exceptional service to our guests for over 40 years. We look forward to investing in the hotel and taking it to new heights of Indian hospitality. The Taj legend will continue to serve Delhi with elegance and charm,” Chhatwal added.

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