BLand buys luxury hotel in Vietnam from Tradewinds

By BUSINESS TIMES

BERJAYA Land Bhd (BLand) will take ownership of a new hotel in Vietnam’s northern enclave under a US$75 million (RM253.5 million) deal to capitalise on the shortage of luxury hospitality units in the fast-growing Indochinese nation.

BLand will buy from Malaysia’s Tradewinds Corp Bhd the 359-room five-star InterContinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel within the shores of Hanoi’s West Lake.

The hotel will be managed by InterContinental Hotel Group, a global hospitality entity, with more than 3,700 hotels across nearly 100 countries in its portfolio.

“It gives us the opportunity to participate in the growth of the Vietnamese tourism industry,” BLand chief executive Datuk Francis Ng said in a statement yesterday.

The deal, inked last week, will see BLand’s wholly-owned Berjaya Leisure (Cayman) Ltd buying the entire stake in Tradewinds Corp’s unit T.P.C. Development Ltd for US$25 million (RM84.5 million).

TPC owns 75 per cent of InterContinental Hanoi Westlake Hotel.

Berjaya Leisure will also assume US$50 million (RM169 million) worth of inter-company debts owed by TPC to its parent Tradewinds Resources Sdn Bhd which, in turn, is entirely owned by Tradewinds Corp.

BLand will resort to a combination of internal funds and bank loans to finance the deal, expected to be done by March 2008.

BLand, a unit of Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya Corp Bhd, has RM37.2 billion worth of overseas real estate jobs in China, Thailand and Vietnam, according to research firm ECM Libra Avenue.

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