Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings PLC last week announced its decision to dispose 100 percent stake in M.P.S. Hotels Private Limited, the owners and the managers of the Hotel Hilltop Kandy for a consideration of Rs.740 million.
Hotel Hilltop is a 73-room hotel situated in the lush hills, overlooking the historic city of Kandy.
Aitken Spence Hotels’ Managing Director, J.M.S. Brito however did not provide any details as to why the group was disposing the hotel nor disclosed the buyers.
However sources close to the deal said the buyer is likely to be a former member of parliament, who already owns a couple of hotels in the hill country.
M.P.S. Hotels Private Limited’s board of directors comprise of J.M.S. Brito, D.S.T. Jayawardena as the Chairperson and C.M.S. Jayawickrama.
Aitken Spence first invested in Hotel Hilltop back in 1994 before it acquired the total ownership of the hotel in 2002.
As of March 31, 2017, Hotel Hilltop’s carrying value in the books of Aitken Spence Hotels was Rs.422.7 million.
Aitken Spence Hotels is one of the largest hotel operators in Sri Lanka and has a portfolio of 22 properties spread across the South Asia and the Middle East with a total room inventory of 2, 676.
Apart from the properties in Sri Lanka mainly under the ‘Heritance’ brand, the company is a leading resort operator in Maldives under, ‘Adaaran’ brand.
Also, it owns and operates a hotel in India under ‘Turyaa’ brand.
In 2016, the group opened Hotel RIU Sri Lanka, the 501-room, 5-star resort constructed in collaboration with the Spain’s RIU Hotels, which gave a boost to its total room inventory.
For the financial year ended in March 31, 2017, the group recorded a revenue of Rs.16.1 billion in comparison to Rs.13.4 billion in the previous year but the net profits more than halved to Rs.675.9 million from Rs.1.4 billion as the debt funded growth hit the bottom line.
Spence Hotels share ended Rs.4.10 or 12.46 percent higher at Rs.37.00 at Friday’s market close.