Sri Lanka Spence Hotel earmarks investments for former war zone

Mar 16, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings said the largest chunk of 2.5 billion rupees it plans to raise through a rights issue will go for new hotels in the island’s former war zone. It also plans to build a hotel in the northern Jaffna region.

The firm said about a quarter of the funds raised through the rights issue – about 625 million rupees – will go to build and develop a boutique resort on the south-west coast in “partnership with a reputed international resort and spa operator.”

This refers to a planned project with Six Senses Spas, an international spa chain, in Beruwala, a prime beach resort where Aitken Spence already has two hotels, Heritance Ahungalla and Neptune.

The project had been planned several years ago but was shelved because of the war and now revived.

About 15 percent of the funds to be raised from the rights issue – or around 375 million rupees – will be spent on converting Neptune Hotel in Beruwela to a 64-roomed specialized Ayurveda and wellness resort.

The balance 625 million rupees will go for investment in hotel projects in Sri Lanka and India, the note to shareholders said.

The company, a subsidiary of the Aitken Spence gro