Duet India Hotels Ltd (DIH), the private equity firm of UK-based Duet Group, has invested $12 million in a five- star upscale hotel project in Hyderabad. The project, which comprises 210 rooms, is being developed at Gachibowli suburb, close to the IT district, of the city at a total investment of $26 million. The company will soon invest another $25 million in a hotel project in Bangalore.

Duet India Hotels, which is the investor and developer of the project, will infuse the remaining amount through debt. The company has already bought the land from L&T Phoenix Infoparks for the Hyderabad project.

It is yet to finalise a hotel partner for the project, Dilip Puri, CEO of Duet India Hotels, told VCCircle.

Across five projects, the company has invested $47 million so far from its $166.5-million fund. Earlier, it has invested in projects in Jaipur, Pune, Ahmedabad and Indore. The Jaipur project is already operational and is run by Sheraton Hotels & Resorts under the brand name, Four Points. The Pune project will be operational by September 2010 followed by Indore and Ahmedabad projects in January and March 2011, respectively.

The company has also completed due diligence for two more investments, one each in Lucknow and Nashik. “We have completed the due diligence for two other projects, and will bring in equity in the next one month. These are smaller projects having equity of $3 million each for developing 3-star hotels of 100 rooms in each,” added Puri. “We are about to conclude a project at Whitefield in Bangalore, and will invest equity of around $25 million,” he said. 

By the end of this calendar year, the fund will complete investments of $78 million equity across eight projects. Duet India Hotels, which has raised the fund from foreign institutional investors, plans to raise more equity for the fund and go for an initial public offering in the next two years. “We plan to raise more equity for the same fund and would be looking to do an IPO in a year-and-a-half or two years,” Puri said. 

Apart from DIH, Duet Group runs another fund in India called South Asian Real Estate, which has been investing in residential projects.

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