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IHCL to sweeten deal for acquiring Orient Express: Reports

In a bid to acquire British hospitality group Orient Express, Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) working on a revised offer, has reportedly hiked its offer price by 10-15%. The improvised offer could be more than $15 per share as IHCL readies the backing of an expanded lenders consortium to fund the bid, after Orient Express last month rejected $12.63 a piece offer valuing it at $1.86 billion.

For a third time in row, Orient Express, owner of New York's 21 Club restaurants and the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Italy, rejected takeover bid by Indian Hotels Company, reasoning the bid undervalues the company, last month. Indian Hotels, in collaboration with fund controlled by Italy's Montezemolo & Partners, last month offered to buy the 93.1 percent of stake in Orient-Express for an amount of $12.63 per share.

Meanwhile, Indian Hotels already holds around 7 percent stake in Orient Express. Indian Hotels, a unit of Tata Group that has interests ranging from steel to software, currently is reported to be evaluating its options after the rejection.

IHCL and its subsidiaries are collectively known as Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces. The Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces currently has 93 hotels in 55 locations across India with an additional 16 international hotels in the Maldives, Malaysia, Australia, UK, USA, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Africa and the Middle East.

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