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Thursday, April 15, 2010

YTL acquires Japanese ski resort for RM224m

YTL Hotels & Properties Sdn Bhd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of YTL Corporation Bhd, has acquired Niseko Village, a prime winter and summer destination in Hokkaido, Japan, for 6.0 billion yen or RM224 million.

YTL group managing director Tan Sri Francis Yeoh Sock Ping said the transaction represented a strategic opportunity to acquire top-quality real estate which complemented the group's existing properties.

"Our vision for Niseko Village is to realise the resort's untapped potential by creating a unique, sophisticated village atmosphere offering private houses and ski-in, ski-out estates and featuring all the hallmarks of the YTL brand that continue to draw our guests back to our properties," he told reporters after the signing ceremony to complete the acquisition today.

YTL Hotels acquired 496,184 shares, representing 100 per cent of the equity interest in Niseko Village, from PC One Y.K., a Japanese limited liability company.
It has also entered into an agreement to undertake full repayment of outstanding amounts owned by Niseko Village to Citigroup Financial Product Inc.

Yeoh said YTL Hotels had received a five-year fixed term loan facility from Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ for 7.0 billion yen for the acquisition of Niseko Village, of which the remaining 1.0 billion yen will be used for working capital.

He said the company would undertake extensive refurbishment to enhance guestrooms, recreation and leisure facilities on location.

Niseko Village occupies a total land area of about 617 hectares, comprising the 506-room Hilton Niseko Village, 200-room Green Leaf Hotel and two 18-hole golf courses as well as a 155-hectare tranche of land featuring seven ski lifts and 15 ski trails, a 23-court tennis complex, the Niseko Village Ski Resort and ski school, several Japanese hot springs and an equestrian centre.

"The resort is the perfect base for skiers and snowboarders to access the mountain's powdery slopes, regarded as some of the finest alpine terrain in the world," Yeoh said. To date, YTL Group has invested about 14 billion yen in Japan, he said.

In addition to the Hilton Niseko, it has embarked on a number of international developments over the last year such as the Swatch Art Peace Hotel in Shanghai, China, the MUSE Hotel De Luxe in Saint-Tropez, France, and The Chedi in Phuket, Thailand.

"Domestic growth is also a priority and YTL Hotels is currently developing resorts on Pulau Gaya and Pulau Tiga in Borneo, scheduled to commence operation next year," Yeoh said.

In another development, he said the company was planning to list a real estate investment trust (REIT) that comprised its various hotel brands this year.

Currently, its hotels include the Ritz Carlton and JW Marriott as well as resorts such as Pangkor Laut Resort.

By Bernama

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