Sri Lanka Hilton to hold talks on management deal

Sri Lankan Police forming a human chain in parliament to protect the Speaker and enable a vote.

Mar 10, 2011 (LBO) – Hilton Hotels and Resorts says it will continue to manage Sri Lanka’s Colombo Hilton until discussions start with owners following a government move to take over the land on which the hotel is located. Hotel Developers is a majority state controlled firm, which has not filed accounts with the stock exchange for years.

The state-backed project has been embroiled in controversy and litigation with disputes including among promoters and contractors.

“We have been advised that the Sri Lankan Government has been noted as the new owners of the land and building of the hotel,” Hilton Hotels and Resorts said in a statement.

“In due course Hilton representatives will meet with the relevant parties to discuss the change in ownership and in the meantime, Hilton will continue to maintain normal business operations at the hotel.”

Hilton said it has a management contract dating back from over 20 years ago with Hotel Developers (Lanka) PLC, a listed firm which owns the building.

On Wednesday economic development minister Basil Rajapaksa was reported to have told parliament that the state had “fully taken over” the property because land lease rentals had not been paid to the government.