Dubai ICD buys into top hotel management firm
Dubai, April 3, 2014
Investment Corp of Dubai (ICD), the emirate's sovereign wealth fund, said it has completed the purchase of a significant equity interest in the leading international developer and operator of destination resorts and luxury hotels, Kerzner International Holdings Limited (KIHL).
The key stake has been bought from the Kerzner family, and several other institutional investors for an undisclosed sum, said the Dubai company in a statement.
The transaction, which represents a new chapter for the business, will see Mohammed Al Shaibani, the executive director and CEO of ICD, take over as the chairman of the international hotel operator from its founder, Sol Kerzner.
Istithmar and certain affiliates of Goldman Sachs and Colony Capital will continue to have significant holdings in the company, it added.
KIHL operates globally under the world-renowned One&Only and Atlantis brands, with international presence, significantly in Dubai with three resorts, two resorts in The Bahamas, and more in Mauritius, The Maldives, Mexico, South Africa and soon, Australia.
This new strategic move by ICD in the hotel and tourism sector in Dubai follows its acquisition earlier this year of Atlantis, The Palm resort.
On the acquisition, Mohammed Al Shaibani, the executive director and CEO of ICD, said, "I am pleased to confirm that ICD has completed a major investment in KIHL. The business and its brands are synonymous with the luxury hotel industry, a sector which is of strategic importance to Dubai."
"This investment reaffirms ICD’s commitment to support the long term growth of our domestic hospitality market, a key pillar of and growth sector for the Dubai economy," he added.
In his comments, Sol Kerzner, who founded the company in 1994, said: “I am exceptionally proud of all that has been accomplished at Kerzner International. This is a significant milestone in my life after a long and happy career in the tourism industry and I wish the company well."
"I am confident that with ICD’s guidance, the company will fulfil on its upcoming expansions towards further growth and global reach," he added.
Al Shaibani pointed out that the investment was significant for Dubai and its strengthening hotel and tourism industry as the emirate prepares to host the Expo World Fair in 2020.-TradeArabia News Service