(PRESS RELEASE) – The Board of the company is pleased to announce the launch of Lanka Reality Investments PLC (formerly known as Ascot Holdings PLC). The name change captures the company’s core vision; to become the foremost listed real estate investment and development company in Sri Lanka attracting overseas investors merged with the local retail investors.
The Board of Directors of Lanka Realty Investments PLC are encouraged by the growth prospects present in the real estate sector and are pleased with the recent development in the regulatory environment. The recent Amendment to the Land Restrictions on Alienation Act lifts the restriction of limiting foreign shareholding to 49% on listed companies holding freehold land and will now allow foreigners to hold the controlling stake in listed companies owning freehold land. This encouraging development is expected to position Lanka Realty Investments PLC as an investment vehicle for foreign investors to partake in Sri Lanka’s real estate growth story.
“We are eagerly looking forward to 2019 as plans are underway to establish Lanka Realty Investments PLC as the foremost listed entity in the area of real estate investment and development.” added Mr. Hardy Jamaldeen.
Mr. Archie Warman, Executive Director – Lanka Realty Investments stated; “We are taking further aggressive strides to optimize the potential of the company as we will be raising Rs. 632 Mn via a rights issue, primarily for additional investments, complete debt settlement and working capital needs”.
Subsequent to the takeover of Ascot Holdings PLC in October 2017 by an international consortium of British and Local investors, a complete re-engineering of the company took place amidst a challenging operating environment. The consortium heading Lanka Realty Investments PLC (LRI) has ensured that the first act was to ensure that the Company’s constitution was strengthened with Articles of Association aligned with good corporate governance and international best practices. Moreover, the Board of Directors was re-constituted as was every Board sub-committee. Mohan Ratnayake, continues to serve as the Chairman.
Within 12 months of taking over the operations, profits in the company has witnessed an increase from LKR 33 million to LKR 235 million, total assets has increased by 35% from LKR 1.30 billion to LKR 1.75 billion and Shareholders’ Funds have increased by 46% from LKR 0.70 billion to LKR 1.02 billion.
The key Shareholders and present Directors hold a gamut of expertise in Fund Management and Real Estate Investment and Development. At the helm of the newly renamed entity is Mr. Hardy Jamaldeen and Mr. Archie Warman who collectively contribute 35 years of experience in commercial / residential property investment and development. Amongst its directors is Mr. Terence Charles Smith, a globally renowned fund manager who runs a USD 24 billion investment management operation and Mr. Ian Joseph McVeigh formerly a Senior Fund Manager of Jupiter Asset Management (UK) who ran the Jupiter UK Growth Fund with assets of circa USD 1.3 billion.
“We are delighted about what the future holds for LRI given that now we have free rein in terms of showcasing Sri Lanka’s real estate opportunities to our international investors. Further, our concrete block and paving stones operation Amtrad Limited, will be streamlined and repositioned to capitalise on major construction projects. We are keen on re-commencing our leisure operations via renewed investments in our leisure assets in Yala and Ambalangoda” Stated Mr. Hardy Jamaldeen, Executive Director – Lanka Realty Investments PLC.