LVMH, Qatar, Hainan in the Fray for Acquiring Amanresorts

Amanresorts is set to change hands once again. DLF Ltd., the largest property developer by sales in India owns the high end Amanresorts International Pte. Ltd. They have invited bids and there are three serious bidders interested in acquiring the hospitality chain. Reliable sources have confirmed that  LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA, Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund and the parent of Hainan Airlines Co. are considering making bids. DLF wants to get more than $400 million for the chain. The property developer had acquired the chain for $400 million in 2007 and now owns 100% of the company.

The bidding process and negotiations are likely to start in right earnest from next week and the deal is likely to be closed by December. Amanresorts has 25 high end properties in 16 different locations. They have resorts in places like Turkey, Sri Lanka and Utah. The average rates in their resorts range in between $700 to over $3,000 a night. HNA Group Ltd., which owns HNA Hotels and Resorts Group already have over 40 hotels and resorts, but they are mostly in China. Eric Huang a spokesman of the group confirmed that acquisition of  Amanresorts is under their serious consideration.

Qatar Holding LLC are basically a sovereign wealth fund but hold a stake in Singapore-based luxury-hotel operator Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd. They have yet to confirm their participation in the bidding process publicly as yet. LVMH has grown into a conglomerate with a portfolio of prestigious luxury brands. They have been consciously increasing their presence in the high end resort business. They first came in the field in 2006 with a hotel in the French ski resort of Courchevel. Their acquisition of Italian jeweler Bulgari SpA has added the Italian group’s luxury hotels in Milan and Bali to their portfolio. Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. are advising DLF on the sale.

Via: online.wsj

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