Sri Lankan government to sell two state owned hotel companies within the next six months
State Minister of Finance in Sri Lanka Eran Wickramaratne has said that the government is looking at raising US$ 500 million through the sale of two state-owned hotel companies within the next six months.
“We’re going through the legal hoops of preparing (the sales),” Wickramaratne has been quoted as saying by Reuters.
“It will maybe take six months to get over that,” he has said.
According to reports, Sri Lanka will be going through the peak foreign debt maturity period in 2019 and the proceeds from the hotel sale are expected to finance repayments.
The government is reportedly looking to sell 51 percent of Hotel Developers PLC which is the holding company for the 350-room 5-star hotel currently run by Hilton International under a management contract.
Meanwhile, all shares of Canwill Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, the holding company for a 458-room, 100 serviced apartment 5-star hotel currently under construction, for which management will go to Hyatt, is expected to be sold.
The government has selected a transaction advisor to find investors for the hotels and the shares are to be sold on a special board at the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).
It is now well known that Sri Lanka’s tourism sector is on a continuous growth path and coupled with the country’s development agenda, Sri Lanka is fast becoming a commercial hub in the Indian Ocean region. The situation would see a further boost once the Chinese funded Colombo port City project is concluded. Therefore, Sri Lanka is now a hotbed for investments. The Sri Lankan government’s decision to sell stakes of two state owned hotels would provide a fruitful investment opportunity for foreign investors looking at investing in Sri Lanka’s leisure and hospitality sector.
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