A cross-border hospitality deal leads today’s news roundup, with Minor International, operator of 22 hotels in Thailand, buying a major stake in a 382-property European hotel chain. Also in the headlines, a pair of Chinese construction firms once blacklisted by the World Bank have now been given the green light to work on rebuilding the war-torn Marawi City in the southern Philippines, because everyone deserves a second chance. And private equity investors are circling London-based IWG, which has a sprawling presence throughout Asia and worldwide through its Regus serviced office and Spaces co-working brands. There’s some shophouse action in Singapore too, so read on for all the details.
Thailand’s Minor International Pcl said on Wednesday that it acquired a stake in Spain-based NH Hotel Group SA for 192 million euros ($225.79 million) to grow its hospitality footprint in Europe.
Minor International will take an 8.6 percent stake in the 382-hotel European chain. The acquisition was funded through bank loans. “The investment is financially attractive, with high liquidity on the Madrid Stock Exchange and proven performance by the business,” Chief Executive of Minor Hotels, Dillip Rajakarier, said in a statement. Read more>>
The two Chinese companies previously banned by the World Bank may participate in the planned massive development of Marawi City in Mindanao, Philippines since the blacklist is “not active anymore,” according to Task Force Bangon Marawi chair Eduardo del Rosario.
Del Rosario said the two companies — China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and China Geo Engineering Corporation (CGC) — are “legitimate” and have been allowed anew to undertake projects by the World Bank. The sanctions imposed on the two firms over rigging allegations of certain projects in the country in 2009 have been lifted by the World Bank in 2014, said Del Rosario, also head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC). Read more>>
WeWork has convinced tech investors that short-term office rentals are the next big thing, and well worth a high price. Savvy real-estate investors also like that business, but not at WeWork’s valuation. Instead, they are focused on a one-time dot-com darling now called IWG. Shares in the London-based company jumped 21 percent last week after it disclosed takeover interest from three separate bidders.
Barry Sternlicht’s private-equity group Starwood Capital has made a tentative offer, as has UK buyout boutique TDR Capital. Talks with Lone Star, another US private-equity firm, are less advanced. A consortium including Canadian property giant Brookfield ended takeover talks with IWG in January. Formerly known as Regus, IWG has a global network of more than 3,000 offices, more than any other provider. Read more>>
Three adjoining shophouses at 33 Liang Seah Street, Singapore, have been put up for sale via private treaty at S$30 million ($22.4 million), marketer Colliers International said on Thursday. The three units, held under a single land title, sit on a 2,694 square foot site within the Beach Road Conservation Area, and have an estimated total gross floor area of 11,500 square feet.
The site is zoned “commercial and residential,” with a gross plot ratio of 4.2 under the Master Plan 2014. The land also has a 999-year lease tenure beginning from 1827. According to Colliers International, the buildings underwent extensive redevelopment works in 1997 when the shophouses were rebuilt and the external facade reinstated to its original specification. Read more>>
Singapore is the fourth-most expensive city in Asia to build in, behind Hong Kong, Macau and Tokyo in that order, said a survey by global design and consultancy firm Arcadis. The Republic also ranks 27th in the world on Arcadis’ construction cost index, which looks at the relative cost of building in 50 of the world’s major cities this year.
The index covers 13 building types with costs representative of the local specifications used to meet market needs. Mr Khoo Sze Boon, executive director and head of cost management and quantity surveying at Arcadis Singapore, said: “Over the past 10 years, Singapore has maintained $20 billion and above in terms of construction demand. This has allowed stability in the Singapore construction sector. Read more>>
Australia’s national postal service has opened a retail outlet that only sends mail to China.
The concept store, located in the Sydney suburb of Chatswood, doesn’t provide any normal postal services like selling stamps or mailing parcels around the country. Instead, it sells health and beauty products that can only be shipped to China. According to Australia Post the purpose of the store is to “test customer demand for selected products to be sent to China.” Read more>>