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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Berjaya Land mulling hotel divestment?

OVERSEAS ASSETS: Properties earmarked for sale are in Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Singapore and Vietnam, which could fetch US$170m, says source

TYCOON Tan Sri Vincent Tan Chee Yioun’s Berjaya Land Bhd (BLand) is looking to divest a majority of its existing hotel properties abroad, sources say.

The hotel assets in Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Singapore and Vietnam, if sold, could fetch some US$170 million (RM517 million) in value, a source told Business Times.

It is believed that an agent may have been appointed as potential purchasers have been approached for the sale of a couple of the company’s hotel assets.

Berjaya, when contacted to confirm if some of its hotels abroad were up for sale and if it had hired an agent to execute the sale, said: “We are not aware of any sale of our properties at this juncture and there are no further comments on this issue”.

The asking price for Berjaya Hotels Singapore is around S$40 million (RM97 million) and the Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake in Vietnam was offered for an estimated US$80 million (RM243 million).

Other resorts identified for sale include two hotels in Seychelles (Berjaya Praslin Resort andBerjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Casino) and one in Sri Lanka (Berjaya Hotel Colombo).

While it is unclear if the Sheraton Hanoi Hotel will be sold, a source said that the group is not looking to sell Berjaya Eden Park London in the UK.

BLand, in its annual report for the period ended April 30 2011, said performance of its overseas properties was mixed, registering gross revenue of RM64.2 million, representing a 4.7
per cent drop from RM67.4 million recorded in the previous year.

Room occupancy, however, had improved to 67 per cent from 64 per cent but the average room rate dropped by 9.8 per cent from a year ago.

In Seychelles, Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort and Casino and Berjaya Praslin Resort posted marginally lower gross revenue due to stiff competition from a newly-opened resort on the island and lower arrivals, the annual report added.

“The InterContinental Hanoi recorded an occupancy of 61 per cent from 53 per cent in the previous year, but the overall market recovery in Vietnam was slow and competition from new hotels in the city was intense,” it added.

Berjaya, meanwhile, will continue to own the Long Beach Resort in Phu Quoc, Vietnam, and will be building a new hotel including a 280-room hotel in Bien Hoa City Square in Ho Chi Minh City.

By Business Times

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