John Keells denies Trans Asia up for sale
John Keells Holdings (JKH) wants to sell its second five star city resort, Trans Asia, industry sources said this week a claim that was strongly denied by the company.
An industry source said that several buyers both local and foreign were interested in the hotel. “The company also needs money to construct their apartment project, ‘The Emperor’, which is the newest property development venture by Asian Hotels and Properties Limited (AHPL) which targets up market clientele base like their initial project, the Emperor. This may be a reason to streamline their investments,” he said. But JKH Chairman Susantha Ratnayake denied such reports. “No we are not selling Trans Asia,” he told The Sunday Times FT.
The hotel, coming under the AHPL was to be re-branded under its flagship brand “Cinnamon” in February last year, but other company officials said the tourism outlook was not positive due to the prevailing security situation and these plans were halted.
“The hotel was to be re-branded as Cinnamon Lake by the company, but it has been put off for some time as it needs a huge capital investment and because the tourism industry is not looking all that good,” a company official told The Sunday Times FT.
Trans Asia, compared to its counterpart, Cinnamon Grand was “not doing all that well’ which is the main reason that it is up for sale. “They are awaiting a ‘good price’,” he added.
AHPL has a 43 percent stake in Trans Asia Hotel which has 336 rooms and is the fourth largest five star hotel in Colombo while the ‘Cinnamon Grand’ at present is the largest five star city hotel in Sri Lanka with 501 rooms together with well equipped with diverse MICE requirements. At present the two city hotels owned by the AHPL controls almost 40 percent of five star hotel rooms in Colombo.