13 March 2011

Free Lanka to Set up Two Boutique Hotels and Develop Commercial Property in Borella with an IPO

09th March 2011, www.dailymirror.lk, By Jithendra Antonio

Free Lanka Capital Group has reported revenue of Rs.4.73 billion for the nine months ended in 31 December 2010, posting a net profit at Rs.921.3 million.

Company’s net asset value per share has increased from Rs.2.97 in 2009 to Rs.4.41 in 2010.

Aiming to venture into the booming leisure and real estate sectors, Free Lanka Capital Holdings yesterday announced the much awaited IPO in a bid to raise Rs.1.5 billion.

Consequently, FLCH would utilize the proceeds of the IPO to develop two boutique-styled hotels in Pussallawa plantations situated in Giragama (Kandy) and Ayr (Padukka) and for the development of a commercial property complex in Borella, spanning 80,000 square feet.

Speaking on the future plans, Chief Executive officer, Godfrey Aloysius said, Free Lanka will consider joint management contracts of experienced hoteliers to manage the leisure initiatives.

The company also intends expanding further into the power sector, using IPO proceeds. This involves the developing of seven more mini hydro power plants in Rakwana and Deniyaya areas, adding another 7.45 MW of power to the national grid.

By the end of 2013, the group anticipates to generate 16.02 MW of hydropower through its subsidiaries in the power sector. A sum of Rs.600 million is to be utilized for Hydro Power projects, and Rs.250 million to boutique hotels.

Free Lanka Capital Holdings (FLCH) is one of the largest owners of country’s plantation assets including Maturata and Pussallawa plantations, and manages over 23,000 hectares of tea, rubber comprising a total of 43 estates.

Company has also embarked on a comprehensive timber planting program in its estates for commercial purposes, and has already planted more than 1.2 million timber plants.

Free Lanka is offering 300 million shares at a price of Rs.5 each, and will be listed on the Diri Savi Board of Colombo bourse. After the issue, it will have a total of 1,368 million shares. Minimum subscription for the issue is 2000 shares. Applicants who wish to exceed the minimum should then apply in terms of multiples of 1000 shares. Out of the publicly issued 300 million shares, 150 million will be allotted to retailers and 150 million to non-retailers who apply above 10,000 shares.

As per the prospectus, the company has 1068 million shares in issue before the IPO, where 70% is owned by Free Lanka Capital (Pvt) Ltd. Browns Investments (Pvt) Ltd. and Perpetual Holdings Ltd hold 4.12% each. Taprobane Holdings and John Keells Capital are acting as managers to the issue.

Image: Managing Director Taprbane Holdings and Director Free Lanka Capital Ajith Devasurendra (third from left) addressing the media at the IPO launch of Free Lanka Capital. Indrajith Fernando (extreme left), Chandramani Wimalasena, and Chief Executive Officer of Free Lanka Godfrey Aloysius look on.

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