Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Glenmorangie Spìos, Glenmorangie’s first single malt whisky fully matured in American ex-rye whiskey casks has been revealed as the ninth release in the Highland Distillery’s Private Edition series. With its uniquely savoury and full-bodied character, Glenmorangie Spìos is ideally known to recount the glittering heyday of American rye whiskey.
In the late 1990s, as Dr Bill Lumsden, Glenmorangie’s Director of Distilling, Whisky Creation & Whisky Stocks, travelled to the U.S., the rare cinnamon and clove notes of this scarce whiskey caught his imagination. To make Glenmorangie Spìos, he sourced the finest first-fill casks from American rye whiskey’s heartland of Kentucky.
Dr Lumsden said, “I have always loved American rye whiskey’s spicy character, and I believed our Distillery’s smooth house style would perfectly complement the nuances of ex-rye casks. The result is Glenmorangie Spìos – a full-bodied, savoury single malt whisky which brings to mind American rye whiskey’s golden age. Its fresh, herbal nose hints at cherry, clove and scents of green grass. Then rye’s spice bursts on to the palate, as toffee, clove and cinnamon mingle with buttery vanilla, before a sweet and lingering finish. I hope connoisseurs and collectors will enjoy this latest innovative release in our Private Edition – a single malt whisky which is unmistakeably Glenmorangie, yet exquisitely different.”
Source: Hozpitality Biz India
Friday, June 8, 2018
A Business Standard report read that the New Delhi Municipal Council’s ambitious plan to auction the Taj Mansingh Hotel has almost drawn a blank, with only Tata Group-owned Indian Hotels Company (IHCL), the current operator, bidding for the property. The NDMC will now have to conduct a fresh round of auction for the luxury hotel, thereby delaying the process by at least several months.
Thursday was the last day for submission of bids for the Taj Mansingh as well as two other hotels in the capital —the Connaught and Hotel Asian International — built on NDMC land. In contrast to the Taj, the two lesser-known hotels have got three bidders each, allowing the auction process to move forward.
A new auction date will be decided for the Taj Mansingh (as the hotel is widely known, based on its Mansingh Road address), an official said. The tender rules said the bid process would be annulled in case there were less than three bidders. An official at the NDMC who is part of the tender process did not respond to calls. SBI Capital Markets is the transaction advisor to the auction.
Surinder Singh, an AAP legislator from Delhi and an NDMC member, said the current auction process of the Taj Mansingh was no less than a ‘’conspiracy’’. He told that the next tender should be done properly to attract more bidders.
The cold response from the hotel industry was unexpected, especially at a time when the sector is seeing an uptrend. Representatives of hotel companies said they were not enthused with the financial terms and certain conditions of the tender. In spite of a relaxation in certain conditions in the second tender floated by the NDMC in April, a number of hotel companies failed to qualify. Some said the responses to queries raised by prospective bidders in a pre-bid meeting were not satisfactorily answered.
One of the conditions that put off companies was that if a bidder failed to meet the eligibility conditions specified in the tender documents, the security amount (INR 250 million) was to be kept by the NDMC as ‘liquidity damages’. The first tender was floated by the NDMC in December last year and the auction was supposed to be held on January 30, 2018.
This date was postponed multiple times after prospective bidders raised several queries and finally the tender lapsed. Companies said the tender conditions were too ‘restrictive’. The first tender did not allow a cross-holding of five per cent or more between two bidders. It said a bidder must own assets as well as a brand which is not the usual practice in the hotel industry. These were relaxed in the second tender.
Some companies also said the financial demands of NDMC from the winner was on the higher side. It did not change in the second tender. The next operator of this property will have to assure a minimum revenue share of 17.25% and a minimum guarantee fee of Rs 29.64 million per month, with a clause for escalation, according to current terms. There is also an upfront non-refundable fee of INR 533 mn. NDMC is seeking a performance security of INR 355 mn as well. The lease period for the property was kept at 33 years, the same duration awarded to IHCL over four decades ago, in 1976.
An expert specialising in hotel industry related transactions said that the auction process of Taj Mansingh was being conducted with a ‘landlord’ attitude. “There is no rent free period for the winner. The winning firm will have to start paying money to NDMC from day one even though the actual hotel operation and income may take multiple months to begin”, he said. The hotel needs a complete renovation and it may take more than a year during which the regular guests of Taj Mansingh would have to be shifted to other hotels, said an industry executive. “You cannot re-open it and expect a tariff of INR 10,000 per room from first month.’’
(Source: Business Standard)
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