25 March, 2008, SYDNEY – Australian builder Leighton Holdings is believed to be in talks with Accor Asia Pacific over plans to jointly develop hotels in India and China.
The partnership would help to alleviate Accor’s frustration at the slow pace of hotel development, especially in India.
The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports that an alliance between Accor and Leighton would see the roll out of a huge network of new hotels in India and China that could be worth more than US$700 million.
Leighton chief executive Wal King and Accor Asia Pacific honorary chairman David Baffsky have held discussions in an effort to speed the development of Sofitel, Novotel and Ibis brands in two of the world’s fastest-growing hotel markets.
The companies could develop as many as 100 hotels in India and another 100 in China if the deal proceeds.
AFRhas reported that Leighton has two large project teams on the ground in India and China.
India needs 125,000 new international-standard hotels rooms to service present demands.
Accor and Dubai’s Emaar Properties are currently developing budget Formule 1 hotels in India.
“In India, the backlog is so great that to partner with Leighton would push Accor’s logjam forward significantly,” one source told AFR.