Raffles Hotel has been sold – again

Fairmont Raffles Hotel Int’l sells its stake in Raffles Hotel to ex-Credit Suisse banker

THE Grand Dame of Singapore will be getting a new master — yet again.

Fairmont Raffles Hotel International — controlled by Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and United States-based private-equity company Colony Capital — is selling its stake in the 120-year-old Raffles Hotel.

The buyer is a group led by a former investment banker of Credit Suisse Group, Mr Mark Pawley, Fairmont said in a statement yesterday.

While it did not disclose the price or name the other buyers, The Business Times reported yesterday that the group would pay about $650 million for the acquisition.

The transaction is part of the company’s strategy to “monetise” its investments in hotels and real estate and will provide the company with “significant capital for future growth”, it said.

The 103-room Raffles Hotel will continue to be part of the Fairmont Raffles’ collection of hotels and the company will continue to run the property through a management contract, the statement said.

This is the second time in less than three years that the iconic hotel — which is gazetted as a national monument — has changed hands. In 2005, Colony bought the hotel and the adjacent shopping arcade as part of the entire hotel business of the then-listed Raffles Holdings for a total of $1.7 billion.

According to BT, Colony later merged these assets with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts after Fairmont was acquired by Colony and Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Hotels International to create a single hotel enterprise, Fairmont Raffles Hotel International.

Source : Today – 9 May 2008

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