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The $250-million Rendezvous Hotels & Resorts International has signed a joint venture with the Chennai-based closely-held XS Real Properties. A subsidiary of the Singapore-listed Straits Trading Company, Rendezvous will have 51% stake in the JV. The JV, Rendezvous India Hospitality (RHI), plans to manage 10 hotels in three years. The alliance is aimed at serving a market where an additional 1.50-lakh hotel rooms are needed to meet the demand in metros like Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, company officials said. RHI will take care of the day-today responsibilities, opening and operating the hotels under its management and brands--Rendezvous Hotels & Resorts (4-star) and Marque Hotels (3-star). XS Real will use its terrain, local market and network expertise to introduce new business opportunities. It will support RHI in understanding the local market conditions, developing contacts, business and brand-building strategies, besides ensuring a “secure and prosperous” entry for RHI into this market. RHI chief executive Alan Featherby said it was quite rare for the company to enter into joint ventures and this tie-up had fructified after a yearlong discussion. It was the core values, transparency and synergy that had resulted in this alliance. Though the ideal time to foray into the Indian market was three years ago, RHI still found the present business prospects tremendous. While old international brands and groups are targeting revenues in the 5-star segment, RHI clearly felt it would be successful in the 4-star and 3-star categories. Many hotels in India were looking at upgrading to these two segments, he added. A CEO from Australia is to spearhead the JV, which is basically aimed at internalising people and integrating team to other properties across geographies, Mr Featherby said. XS Real Properties vice-chairman SG Prabhakharan said the company would use its local knowledge and expertise to support the JV with infrastructure and opportunities to sign up hotels under the alliance.

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