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Bharti tycoon may pump US$1b into son-in-law's hotel chain

Mumbai

THE billionaire who controls India's biggest mobile-phone operator is looking to pump more than US$1 billion into a hotel chain founded by his son-in-law in London, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The money from Bharti Group chairman Sunil Mittal would fund acquisitions by Sharan Pasricha's Ennismore, a developer that owns the Gleneagles resort and Hoxton hotel chain, which is expanding in the US and Europe, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the matter is private.

The injection would come from a Bharti unit that handles Mr Mittal's family wealth and would help Mr Pasricha acquire and convert properties in trendy urban areas in US and European cities into hotels aimed at appealing to younger travellers.

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Hoxton, known for its casual atmosphere and affordable rates, operates two hotels in the London neighbourhoods of Shoreditch and Holborn and one each in Amsterdam and Paris. The brand has 667 rooms across these three cities.

Ennismore said in an email it is partners with Bharti Global, which makes investments for the Mittal family, and declined to comment further. A Bharti Global representative declined to comment.

Mr Pasricha, who's married to Mr Mittal's daughter Eiesha, ran a media startup, then a leather-goods factory and private equity before getting into the hotel business.

He acquired the first Hoxton in Shoreditch, an east London neighbourhood known for street art. The second in Holborn in 2014 was followed by Amsterdam in 2015 and Paris in 2017. BLOOMBERG