Sri Lanka Continental for sale: report

Nov 01, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Hotel Ceylon Continental controlled by business magnate Nahil Wijesuriya is up for sale and the deal may be closed within two months, a media report said.

Sri Lanka’s tourism authorities have legal powers to dictate pricing of hotels. “I am aggressively seeking to sell the property and hope to exit with a capital gain in about two months,” Wijesuriya was quoted as saying in The Sunday Island newspaper.

The report said Wijesuriya was hard hit by rule to sell rooms at a minimum state mandated price.

Wijesuriya had said that his hotel, the first five star classified property in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo cannot compete with newer hotels if prices are the same.

“I’ll be able to sell a room only after the Cinnamon Grand and Cinnamon Lakeside are full,” he was quoted as saying.

“I hope to exit soon and watch the scene from outside as a spectator.”

The report said he had even asked for his hotel to be classified under a lower star class to remain competitive.