Business Times

Six Senses group plans IPO

Thai-based Six Senses & Spa hotels is planning a public float of shares (IPO) in the summer (June-August) in Colombo aimed at setting up its South Asian office to handle hotels and resorts in this region, according to its founder/CEO Sonu Shivdasani.

Sonu Shivdasani expressing a point. Pic by J. Weerasekera

The energetic Indian-origin entrepreneur, told the Business Times in an interview in Colombo that all the company’s current four properties in the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India would be brought under this holding company to be based in Colombo.

“Peace has dawned on Sri Lanka and there are exciting times ahead,” he said on Friday as he enthusiatically explained the organisation’s current properties and plans in Asia and other parts of the world while grabbing a quick breakfast on the roof-top lounge of the Cinnamon Grand.

Mr Shivdasani and his wife -Eva, who together set up their first property in the Maldives in 1995, spend five months on an island in the Maldives and the rest in Thailand where the company – which has over 26 resorts across Asia and the rest of the world- is based.

The company has spas at Aitken Spence Group hotels in Kandalama and the Tea Factory and is setting up – as a joint venture - another resort adjoining Heritance Ahungalla which will have 54 villas and in the adjoining Madu Ganga island, 15 tents. “We want to create a low impact (on the environment) resort at Madu Ganga and replicate this elsewhere as a low-carbon (living-with-nature) unit,” he said.

The company is also looking at a site in Galle and contemplating a health resort either in the central hills or the Niligiri mountain in South India. “Tourism will grow here because you have a tiny base,” he said.

(More next week from the interview)

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