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Singapore buyer shells out B1.4bn in Evason Phuket buyout



PHUKET: A subsidiary of Singapore firm LC Development has acquired the former Evason Phuket and Bon Island Resort for a total consideration of 1.4 billion baht, reports Phuket Gazette Property columnist Bill Barnett.

The deal was struck on April 21, with Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels acting as broker to the transaction, Mr Barnett said on his Property Insider website.

The deal sees LC Development, with its wholly owned subsidiary LC Hotels Pte Ltd, transact all units in the Phuket Island Property Fund and The Evason Phuket Limited.

JTM (Thailand), a Thailand affiliate of the group, has been used as an operating entity.

LC Development has a significant stake in the Holiday Inn Resort Phuket.

The group also developed and invested in the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport in Singapore, together with institutional investor LaSalle Investment Management. The Crowne Plaza Changi was sold for S$299.5 million early last year.

The group also owns the Crowne Plaza London Kensington in London and the Holiday Inn City Centre Guangzhou.

“It’s not clear yet what the new ownership will do with the site, but one key element in the purchase of the resort is the large 75 rai site, with a considerable amount of vacant land.

“While no announcement has been made, industry speculation based on a close relationship between the developer and hotel operator IHG would point to the later ultimately being a potential brand partner,” Mr Barnett said.

“Another Singapore group co-owns a large site adjacent to the site, which had been pegged for a luxury Four Seasons resort. HPL, along with [global developing firm] Lehmans, had intended to promote the property, but post-financial crises and the latter group’s collapse [Lehmans] has put the project on the back burner.

“Long term, it’s believed the prime oceanfront site will be built into an upscale resort. This and the Evason redevelopment will be considerable game changers for the Rawai hospitality sector,” Mr Barnett added.

The buyout of the Evason Phuket follows the high-profile shutdown of the resort late last month when hundreds of employees were summarily dismissed and retrenched through redundancy packages.

The news also follows Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels’ recent brokering of the sale of the Movenpick Resort Karon Beach by Kingdom Hotel Investments to Malaysia’s TA Global Bhd for US$90.2 million (about 2.87 bn baht).


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