Sri Lanka leisure group buys Maldives resort

Oct 31, 2006 (LBO) – Sri Lankan conglomerate Aitken Spence has announced that it has bought another island resort in the Maldivian archipelago where it is already one of the top leisure operators. Aitken Spence Hotels (International), a subsidiary of Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings, said it had acquired the Vadhoo Island Resort for 13 million US dollars, in an announcement to the Colombo Stock Exchange.

It gave no further details but the group has been trying to increase its hotel business in the Maldive islands because of the downturn in tourism in Sri Lanka.

The group operates four island resorts in the Maldives having increased its presence in the archipelago with the Adaaran Select Huduranfushi resort commencing operations last year.

Other resorts are Meedhupparu, Bathala, known as a dive resort, and Rannalhi.

Aitken Spence’s Maldivian properties have helped the group offset lower earnings in its Sri Lankan hotels, hit hard by the downturn in arrivals owing to the escalating violence in the ethnic conflict.

Aitken Spence operates a chain of luxury hotels in Sri Lanka and the Maldives, and is also in talks with several hotels in India to run properties there.

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