Sabari Inn get Rs 62 cr equity from ICICI Pru for expansion

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Chennai, Jan 9 (UNI) Sabari Inn Private Limited, a leading hotel chain in the city, today received an investment of Rs 62 crore towards equity from ICICI Prudential Asset Management Company for funding its expansion plans of having a total of 14 to 15 hotels in Western and Southern India in the next four to five years.

The Rs 62 crore investment from the real estate funds managed by ICICI Prudential was for the first phase of expansion under which Sabari Inn would increase its presence to seven hotels from the present two in the city at a total investment of Rs 250 crore.

The five hotels would come up in the next 18 to 24 months and land had already been acquired in Bangalore, Coimbatore, Pune, Hyderabad and Munnar, Sabari Inn CMD K R V Ramani and ICICI Prudential Head-Real Easte Investment Management Yesh Nadkarni told reporters here.

In the second phase, seven more hotels, all in the four-star category with 100 to 120 rooms each, would come up in Kochi, Vizag, Mangalore, Mysore, Goa and Sriperumbudur.

''Our target is to have about 14 hotels fully operational by 2010-11,'' Mr Ramani said.

To a question, Mr Nadkarni refused to quantify the equity component bought by his company and said ICICI might consider pumping in fresh equity for the second phase of expansion plans of Sabari Inn.

It's aggressive expansion plans were fuelled by the big gap between supply and demand for hotel accommodation in India.

According to official statistics and figures of the Tourism Department, there were 1.10 lakh rooms across all star categories in India as against the demand for more than two lakh rooms.

''Since the gap is wide in the three and four star segments,Sabari Inn wants to cash in on this demand to set up hotels, targeting the the buoyant growth in IT sector,'' Mr Ramani said.

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