16th March 2011, www.ft.lk
In what is likely to be one of the biggest boosts to Sri Lanka’s investment profile globally, the world-renowned leisure brand Six Senses is to list its regional business unit on the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE).
Six Senses, of top Thai hotelier of Indian origin Sonu Shivdasani, has two resorts in the Maldives whilst the first in Sri Lanka is under way in partnership with the Aitken Spence Group. The third resort in the Maldives is slated to open soon whilst the Six Senses brand is also being rolled out in India in addition to scouting for prospects in Nepal.
In a deal involving reverse acquisition, Six Senses is to make Sri Lanka its headquarters, owning and overseeing its leisure assets in the South Asia region.
Daily FT learns that the process for the listing of this entity is already underway.
According to market sources, a valuation of the business and the entity is pending but around 30% stake of the venture is expected to be offered via the IPO.
Some estimate the value of the IPO to be between US$ 30 and $ 40 million.
Analysts pointed out that the Colombo stock market remains attractive for issuers whilst the post-war boom in tourism and double digit growth forecast along with Sri Lanka positioning itself as a regional hub were other magnets for Six Senses.
When listed it will be the first of its kind on the Colombo bourse and analysts noted that success would provide an excellent window of opportunity for Sri Lanka to lure more international or regional companies to consider listing apart from setting up headquarters in Colombo.
Sonu, during a trip to Sri Lanka late last year, was quoted by local media as saying: “Over time tourism will become a dominant part of the economy in Sri Lanka, so it makes sense for us to operate in a country like that.”
“Since the return of peace I see Sri Lanka becoming an important regional hub,” he had told Lanka Business Online.
Six Senses is a resort and spa management and development company with properties in six countries including the Maldives, Thailand, Vietnam, Oman, Jordan and Spain.
Its properties in the Maldives are branded as Soneva by Six Senses with the two properties being Soneva Fushi, Maldives and Soneva Gili, Maldives, whilst the third one, Six Senses Laamu, will be opening next month. Six Senses Laamu is the only resort on the virtually uncharted Laamu Atoll, 150km from the equator.The other brand is Evason.
The Group has has seven resorts in Thailand, three in Vietnam, one each in Oman and Jordan, with another opening soon in Spain.
Sonu is also making his debut in India with spas, resorts and fine dining restaurants along with boutique hotels to tap high end travellers, according to Indian media reports.
The first Six Senses Spa across 7,000 sq mt will start functioning next month at the Jaypee Greens Golf and Spa Resort at Noida on the outskirts of Delhi.
The Six Senses Spa at Noida will occupy a three-story building.
Related Info :
• Thai Six Senses Spas makes Sri Lanka a Regional Hub to Manage Leisure Assets in Indian Ocean
• Six Senses Pulls Out of Dutch Bay Resort in Kalpitiya. Goes Ahead with Aitken Spence on a Project near Galle, Sri Lanka