By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera
LOLC Holdings PLC’s strategic investment arm, Browns Investments through its subsidiary, BI Leisure Holdings is on the lookout for more hotels in Mauritius on the back of acquiring PL Resort Limited (there) and in such similar destinations, senior officials said.
The company is also on the acquisition mode for hotels locally, they said. “We are on the lookout and also negotiating on buying some more hotels,” a senior Browns official told the Business Times on Thursday. BI Leisure Holdings has been incorporated in the United Arab Emirates and it has entered into a share sales and purchase agreement to acquire PL Resort Limited, which is a private company established in Mauritius owning a 100-room capacity luxury beach resort in Mauritius valued at US $ 12 million, with a purchase consideration of $ 3.7 million. PL Resort Limited is managed and operated by Radisson Hotel Management Company under the Radisson Blu brand. Browns is also in discussions with owners of some local and foreign leisure companies to acquire some hotels, according to the official.
Seven months ago, Browns Investments acquired the controlling stake of 55.65 per cent of Serendib Hotel PLC (Serendib) for a consideration of Rs. 792 million. This investment was made by Browns Investments subsidiary leisure company, Eden Hotel Lanka PLC. Last year Browns Investments entered into a management agreement with Barceló, one of the largest global hotel operator chains to manage The Eden Resort and Spa, The Paradise Resort and Spa, Nasandhura and Bodufinolhu. Further, Barceló is to make an equity investment of 30 per cent into the development of Bodufaru three island project.
The group has set its sights on expanding its financial footprint globally. “We will also be aggressively looking at companies in the financial sector in Central Asia and Africa,” he said. He noted that LOLC and Browns are exploring opportunities in the financial space in countries like Uzbekistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan etc. He added that this is part of their global growth strategy.