Offer for Tata Group's Blue hotel property in Sydney falls through

Tata Blue HotelIHCL wants to hive off Blue from its portfolio because it has made negligible contribution to the topline of the company.

Tata Group's

Indian Hotels Company Ltd may be amenable to sell its Australian property, Blue. Responding to a query from FE on Friday, the company said that that it had received an offer for its marquee Sydney-based hotel, which did not materialise.

"IHCL examined (the offer) but it did not materialise," IHCL said in response to an email query from FE, without disclosing the details of the offer, or the identity of the interested party.

Asked if it is looking to offload its sole Australian property, IHCL said, "Normally, for every hotel company, hotel solicitation, offers and queries are received on a regular basis and it is in our interest to evaluate all options, and to ensure that it complies with our strategic intent."

Blue, located at Finger Wharf which overlooks the Sydney Harbour, was bought by IHCL for $27.1 million from the Hong Kong-based Harilela Group in 2005. The property was earlier called 'W Sydney' and was re-launched as 'Blue Sydney' — a Taj Hotel — in February 2006.

IHCL wants to hive off Blue from its portfolio because it has made negligible contribution to the topline of the company in the last three-four years, analysts said.

"Blue made a loss of about Rs 2 crore against around Rs 57 crore revenue in the financial year 2013. IHCL is currently focusing on improving profitability so it may be looking to offload its Australian property," the analyst added.

IHCL reported a consolidated net loss of R433.48 crore during the Q2 FY14, against a consolidated net loss R57.49 crore for the corresponding period in FY13.

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