Running counter to recent deals that brought U.S.'s Hilton Hotels Corp. together with Hilton International and led U.S.'s Starwood Capital to acquire France's Concorde Hotels, Germany's luxury Steigenberger Hotel Group AG plans to remain independent.

The group owns or operates 75 hotels in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. In addition, the group has one hotel in Egypt. The controlling family has had acquisition offers from U.S.-based interests, but has turned them down.

To strengthen its independent position, the group expects to invest 150 million euros on renovations in the next three years. An aggressive expansion plan also has been announced, which will see six new properties open in Italy, Germany, and Egypt by 2008.

Source: Hotel Business