Tata’s Indian Hotels Company (IHCL) has been looking to go asset-light—but it’s trying to hold on to at least one of its hotels.
A recent order from the High Court has allowed for the public auction of the Taj Mansingh Hotel in Central Delhi by the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC). IHCL, which has been operating the hotel since 1978 and claims to be a partner, has filed an appeal with a divisional bench of the High Court to prevent the sale.
Earlier this week, IHCL sought to renew its operating license for the property on the basis that it was a partner in the hotel. In 1978, the company claimed, it had completed the pending construction of the building and paid for the cost of constructing the property. The operating license expired in 2011 and the company has been managing the hotel on extensions ever since.
The union urban development ministry decided in 2011 that NDMC should invite open bids and provide first right of refusal to IHCL, allowing it to match bid, the ministry of home affairs later said that providing this right would lower revenues in the auction. IHCL filed a civil suit against the council in the Delhi High Court after it decided to auction the property in 2013.
A spokesperson for the company said that it would “vigorously protect its interests in the Taj Mahal Hotel, New Delhi and will pursue all legal options."