The JV-owned hotels will represent several brands from theHilton portfolio, including Hilton Hotels, Hilton Garden Inns,Homewood Suites by Hilton and Hilton Residences. The JV companywill develop and build these properties, while Hilton will managethem. DLF will hold 74% in the entity, and Hilton will hold theremaining minority stake. Over the next five to seven years, Hiltonwill invest up to $143 million in the JV, excluding debt.

The first phase of the expansion program involves acquiring 20hotels in a number of key locations, including Chandigarh, Chennaiand Kolkata. A large number of these hotels are expected to beHilton Garden Inn properties. The second stage of the developmentinvolves identifying and acquiring sites for new hoteldevelopments.

"India is an outstanding market for hotel development, given itscombination of economics and demographics," says Ian Carter, EVP ofHilton Hotels Corp. and CEO of Hilton International Operations. Hecharacterized the JV as a "compelling next step to capitalize onthe development momentum."

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