11th March 2011, www.lankabusinessonline.com
An Indian firm in leisure and gaming has had talks in Sri Lanka over a state-run firm that owns a building in which Colombo's Hilton hotel is located, a media report said.
Sri Lanka's Ravaya newspaper said that at least two senior officials of India's Deltacorp had met Sri Lankan investment promotion and finance ministry officials over a possible purchase of the hotel property.
The Hilton Hotel is located on a structure built by Hotel Developers PLC, a Colombo listed firm in which the state holds controlling interest.
The firm said Thursday that land on which the hotel was built was leased by the Urban Development Authority, a state agency, to Cornel & Company, a private firm. The private firm had sub-lease the land to the hotel firm in return for equity.
But the state agency had terminated the lease as Cornel & Company had not paid annual lease rentals. The disclosure came after economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa said that the property had been fully taken over by the state.
The hotel firm is reported to be more than 60 percent owned by the state. But it had not submitted accounts to the Colombo Stock Exchange for years.
The Ravaya newspaper quoted Cornel & Company chief Cornel Perera as saying that he had not participated in talks between the Indian firm and the finance ministry.
The news report mentioned a value of 150 million US dollars for the property.
Deltacorp was in the news recently over possible plans to set up a casino in Colombo. The firm's website lists Sri Lanka as one of countries where a casino is "on the anvil."
Related Info :
• Colombo Hilton Operates as Usual. Govt Takes Over the Property from the Holding Company over Lease Issue
• Delta Corp Plans Casinos in Sri Lanka to Tap Surge in Tourist Arrivals