Diversified conglomerate ITC is learnt to be evaluating options for making a bid for Taj Mansingh hotel following the Supreme Court’s decision to allow the NDMC to e-auction the iconic property. The Tata Group hospitality arm, Indian Hotels Company, has already said it intends to participate in the bidding for the property, which it has been running for decades.When contacted, ITC declined to comment. However,a company source said the company is evaluating its strategy for the same. “We are evaluating the options,” the source said. The Supreme Court had yesterday allowed the plea of NDMC that IHCL cannot have the right of refusal in the auctioning of the hotel.
The bench, however, had asked the civic body to grant six months “breathing time” to the company in vacating the hotel in case they lose out in the e-auction. The apex court had also held that the “blemish-free” record of the Tata group firm may be taken into account by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) while auctioning the iconic property.”We respect the decision of the Supreme Court and intend to participate in the e-auction when it is held. We stay committed to our colleagues and guests, whose loyalty and trust remains our biggest asset,” a company spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.
On March 3, the civic body had told the apex court that it wanted to e-auction the hotel. The property, owned by the NDMC, was given to IHCL on a lease of 33 years. The lease had ended in 2011 and the company was given nine temporary extensions since then on various grounds, with three of them granted last year itself.