Nahil tipped to head ceylon Continental
Has plans to promote as gaming centre:
Sri Lanka and Singapore based businessman Nahil Wijesuriya is likely
to be the new Chairman of the country's first five star hotel Ceylon
Continental, following the acquisition of a majority stake of its shares
of the holding company.
This was a strategic deal with U.K. Sharma the largest shareholder of
Hotel Services Plc, the owning company of the Ceylon Continental.
They sold 9.3 million shares to a Singapore based off shore
consortium, Green Care International Limited led by Wijesuriya.
Industry and stock market sources said there is likely to be a
management change shortly. Initially, Hotel Services Limited held 98 per
cent of the hotel under the chairmanship of U.K Sharma, which has
already disposed more than 78 per cent stake of the Continental Hotel
shares. "If I become the Chairman of the property I will promote the
hotel as an integrated resort concept with gaming to attract especially
Indian tourists, "Wijesuriya told Daily News Business.
He said the Continental Hotel is ideal for a gaming place because of
the huge floor area of 35,000 square feet, which enables to target the
Indian tourist market easily. This deal was concluded at Rs. 130 a share
for a total consideration of Rs. 1.3 billion.
Originally Green Care International Limited purchased 9.4 million
shares and the day before yesterday same company bought over 1.04
million shares of the property amounting to approximately 53 per cent of
the total shareholding. Lanka Securities (Pvt) Limited was the
stockbroker of the deal and Deutche Bank was the holding attorney of the
They are now offered a mandatory offer for balance shareholders at Rs.
138 for a share. Wijesuriya also heads East West Properties. The company
intends to purchase another seven per cent of its shares before the
expiry of the mandatory offer, which would probably be over within a
period of one month, he said.
Wijesuriya said that the whole of Asia is going for entertainment
sector with a special emphasised on gaming. Today, Macau in China is
doing extremely well than Las Vegas in USA due to the integrated resort
concept with a lot of emphasis on gaming.
According to Wijesuriya the Hotel Management Company which holds
shares of the hotel will only invest if assured of a management contract
of the Continental Hotel.
The hotel, which was Colombo's first five Star Hotel with an
international franchise Intercontinental Group was originally part of
the Asian Hotel Group.
Continental makes mandatory offer
Market turnover was driven by large stakes in the telecom sector
changing hands and selected buying into a motor company, while the
indices moved sideways on Tuesday.
Green Care International Ltd, the company which bought into Hotel
Services which in turn owns the Ceylon Continental, made the mandatory
offer to buy out the remainder shareholders at the price of Rs 138.00.
The ASPI closed up 11 points (+0.41%) at 2673 while the MPI lost 9
points (-0.28%) to close at 3307. Dialog Telekom (Rs 869.4 million), AMW
(Rs 55.1 million), SLT (Rs 34.6 million), Bukit Darah (Rs 21.1 million)
and Distilleries (Rs 17.9 million) were the biggest contributors to
turnover, which totalled Rs 1,193.7 million.
The top advancers for the day were Colombo Pharmacy by 14% to Rs
285.00, NTB Warrants 2010 by 12% to Rs 7.00, AMW by 8% to Rs 173.75,
Bukit Darah 8% to Rs 1,911.25 and JL Morrison's by 7% to Rs 481.25.
The decliners for the day were Vallibel Power Erathne by 8% to Rs
2.40, Dankotuwa Porcelain by 7% to Rs 13.00, Arpico Finance 6% to Rs
56.25, Property Development by 6% to Rs 29.00 and Hotel Developers, the
owning company of the Colombo Hilton, by 5% to Rs 45.00.
Source: First Guardian Equities