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Orient-Express Hotels names CEO, refuses bid

The Associated Press

Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. said Thursday that John M. Scott III has been named president and CEO of the company.

Scott, 47, worked most recently as President and CEO of Rosewood Hotels Resorts, a luxury hotel company. He replaces Philip Mengel, who served as interim CEO for the past six months. Mengel will continue to serve as a director on its board.

Orient-Express said that Scott brings an understanding of the ultra-luxury lodging sector and proven industry experience to help drive the company's growth.

The company also said Thursday that it is rejecting a bid from The Indian Hotels Company Ltd. to buy Orient-Express for $12.63 per share.

Orient-Express said the offer undervalues the company and is not in the best interests of shareholders.

The company said the offer is "deeply unattractive from a financial perspective". It also said that its board believes that given the current economic and industry conditions, which have hurt its stock price, it would be a disadvantageous time to sell the company.

Orient-Express, based in Bermuda, owns the Hotel Cipriani in Venice, Copacabana Palace in Rio de Janeiro and the Simplon-Orient-Express and Eastern & Oriental Express tourist trains.

Indian Hotels, which is the hotel operating company of the Tata group, said it is reviewing the decision and considering its options.

Shares of Orient-Express fell $1.34, or 11.3 percent, to close at $10.55. The stock has traded between $6.16 and $12.75 in the past 52 weeks.