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Holiday Inn Manila has new foreign owner

From one foreign owner to another, a controlling block of listed stock Acesite (Phils.) Hotel Corp., which owns Holiday Inn Manila, has been sold for about P1.66 billion, documents furnished the Philippine Stock Exchange show.

Acesite president Francis Lam said South Port Development Ltd., a British Virgin Islands-registered firm which has experience in running leisure facilities in mainland China and Australia, has acquired in full Acesite Ltd., the parent firm of Acesite Phils. and likewise incorporated in the British Virgin Islands.

Acesite Ltd. is controlled by a group of British and Hong Kong businessmen through Ltd. and Evallon Investment Ltd., which is listed at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The group controls 75 percent of Acesite Phils., which was formed after it took over the former Manila Pavilion Hotel in 1988 in partnership with the Delgado family.

South Port bought the 75-percent interest at approximately P22.15 per share, a considerable 216.43-percent premium over Acesite Phils.’s last traded price of P7 per share.

Lam said there will be no major changes with respect to the hotel operations of the new Holiday Inn, with South Port continuing to operate the hotel under the existing management contract with the global hotel chain Bass Hotels and Resorts.

"South Port has indicated that it shall continue with the proposed renovation program for the "Holiday Inn Manila (including improvement in safety and security features, upgrading of machinery and equipment, refurbishment of facilities) in accordance with the world-wide quality standards of Bass Hotels," Lam said.

He added South Port will also bank on its extensive experience and linkages in China and Australia to contribute to the enhancement of the company’s future operations and financial position. Acesite has suffered from the slump in the tourism industry as it amassed losses since last year.

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