Marigold Hospitality franchise for Hampton by Hilton

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New Delhi, Apr 22 (UNI) Hilton Hotels Corporation today said it has entered into an agreement to franchise its Hampton by Hilton brand to Marigold Hospitality Ltd in India, with Marigold investing 200-250 million dollars towards the deal..

Marigold Hospitality aims to franchise 16 hotels (about 2,000 rooms) under the Hampton by Hilton brand in India, said a statement.

The hotels will be managed on behalf of Marigold Hospitality by Palm Hospitality, a member of the Palm Holdings group of businesses.

Marigold Hospitality is a joint venture between Palm Holdings and Trikona Capital, created to invest in and develop hotels in the country.

The deal is set to launch the Hampton by Hilton brand in India and Marigold Hospitality expects to secure initial sites in the first half of 2008, with commencement of construction works this year.

The first of the 16 Hampton by Hilton(tm) hotels is planned to open in the next two years.

Marigold's commitment is anticipated at 200-250 million dollars.

Marigold will acquire and develop the sites and Hilton Hotels Corporation will provide expertise in site selection and brand, marketing, technical and technology support, with Palm Hospitality managing the hotels, the statement added.

Hilton Hotels Asia Pacific President Koos Klein said, ''This is a great opportunity for us to get a foothold in the business hotel sector in India as one of the first international hotel companies to offer business travellers in India top quality focused service accommodation on the road. It is our goal to become a nationwide hotel company in India, across the market segments.'' Marigold Hospitality and Palm Hospitality Chairman Ash Taneja said, ''We expect it to be a hit among travellers in India who want quality at competitive prices. The business market poses a great business opportunity in India.'' UNI PBB AK AS1524

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