ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, November 19, 2006
Vol. 41 - No 25
Financial Times

Confifi hotels not for sale

The Confifi Group said last week that like many hotel groups it’s struggling to maintain profitability but noted that negotiations with interested parties for a buyout of the company fell through.

“There were about two buyers negotiating to buy the company, but we could not come to a fruitful settlement, so (now) it is not for sale,” Prof. M. T. A. Furkhan, Chairman, Confifi Hotels told The Sunday Times FT.

He declined to divulge with whom the company had had negotiations but John Keells said in a recent statement to the Colombo Stock Exchange that they had been looking at the Confifi properties.

In comparison to 2004 where the group's hotels achieved record occupancies, he said that on account of the tsunami it was a rather disappointing winter season last year.

“The fortunes of the hotel companies in Sri Lanka are invariably tied to the level of violence in the country which affects the inflow of tourists. The Ceasefire Agreement which was in place undoubtedly helped the uninterrupted flow of tourists, but unfortunately that scenario got disturbed by the aftermath of the tsunami disaster and the Sri Lanka tourism industry was severely affected by the prolonged display of the destruction and the consequent agony to obtain aid which in the end was also not forthcoming as the P-Toms Agreement with the northern militants could not be concluded as required by the foreign donors as a precondition for funding,” he said, adding that in effect it was a double disaster to the economy, one by the tunami, and the other by the political mishandling at the highest levels.

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Copyright 2006 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.