Hotel Leelaventure Chairman Nair to retire in June

NEW DELHI Captain CP Krishnan Nair, the 90-year-old chairman of Hotel Leelaventure Ltd. and one of the icons of India’s hotel industry, will step down from active management of the company in June. His sons, Vivek and Dinesh, will take over the company’s operations.

“My son Vivek will take over as the chairman, while my younger son Dinesh will be the vice-chairman,” Nair announced Monday. Vivek Nair is currently the company’s vice chairman and managing director, while Dinesh Nair is the joint managing director of the company. Both sons would own equal stake in the company and have first right of refusal if one seeks to sell shares.

The revised management structure requires shareholder approval at the company’s annual meeting in June.

Nair’s announcement comes a day after his company unveiled plans to sell 5% equity within the next two months, reducing its founders’ stake to 50%. The share transaction with an unidentified private equity firm would raise about 6 billion rupees (US$135 million) that would be used to reduce Leelaventure’s debt, which currently hovers around 38 billion rupees.

Leelaventure operates seven luxury hotels under the Leela Palace and Leela Kempinski brands in India. Leelaventure has also taken loans to develop hotels in Udaipur, New Delhi and Chennai.