By Shane McGinley
Official says the firm has trimmed its investment plans for India post downturn.
Whitebread, owners of the Premier Inn budget hotel brand in the UK, has bought out its Indian joint venture partner Emaar MG, it was reported on Saturday.
Emaar MGF is a joint venture between Dubai's Emaar Properties and Indian financier MGF and three years ago it teamed up with Whitbread to introduce the Premier Inn brand into the Indian market.
An official at Premier Inn India told The Economic Times newspaper that the company has trimmed down its investment plans for India as it now hopes to build fewer hotels in far lesser towns than it planned in 2007.
“Whitbread Plc confirms that Premier Inn has completed the acquisition of the 50.1 percent stake it did not own in the JV with real estate developer Emaar-MGF." the company said in a statement.
When the joint venture was announced in 2007 the two companies said they initially planned to invest $600m to build 80 Premier Inn hotels over ten years.
These plans have been scaled back, according to the report, and Aly Shariff, managing director at Premier Inn in India, told the newspaper that it now plans to invest Rs 495 crore ($108.93m) to develop nine hotels by 2013.