New Delhi, Apr 10 (PTI) Hospitality chain Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts today said it has won the management contract to operate the Mahatma Mandir convention and exhibition centre and a luxury hotel in Gandhinagar.

The company also said that it will soon take a decision on the possible divestment of its Chennai hotel.

Mahatma Mandir Convention and Exhibition Centre and the 300-room hotel ‘The Leela Gandhinagar’ are located in close proximity to the Dandi Kutir and well-connected to Ahmedabad.

The hotel will open in January 2019, The Leela Palaces, Hotels and Resorts Chairman and MD Vivek Nair told reporters here.

When asked if the company was planning to divest its Chennai property, Nair said, “We will take a decision on Chennai property shortly.” Going forward the company will mainly follow asset light and management contract model, he added.

The agreements are signed with Gandhinagar Railway and Urban Development Corporation (GARUD), a special purpose vehicle formed by the Government of Gujarat with the Indian Railway Stations Development Corporation Ltd, Nair said.

The contract is to manage the Mahatama Mandir and the hotel for 20 years, he added.

“The company is also planning to expand its hotel portfolio in India and abroad. The upcoming hotels will be in Jaipur, Agra, Bengaluru and Hyderabad in India and in Vietnam, Abu Dhabi and Dubai overseas,” Nair said.

The addition of Mahatma Mandir and The Leela Gandhinagar to the company’s MICE portfolio reinforces its plans to expand further into the international conferences and events space, and underscores its asset light growth strategy, he added.

With this signing, The Leela has expanded its hotel portfolio to ten properties across India.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.