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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Minor Hotel Group Multiple Expansion Announcements

Big start to 2015 including Europe, South America and North Africa

Anantara Jabal Al Akhdar Resort (due to open late 2015)
Minor Hotel Group (MHG), an owner, investor and operator with a portfolio of 133 hotels and resorts and almost 17,000 keys in 22 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Africa and the Indian Ocean, has kicked off 2015 by adding four new countries to its portfolio including two new continents, plus six camps in Africa and a new flagship Anantara hotel in Thailand.

2015 NEWS TO DATE
In January Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara welcomed its first guests. Located 20 minutes by luxury ferry off the coast of the Qatari capital, the 141-room resort features the first over water villas in Qatar and an extensive selection of facilities including a spa and dedicated wellness centre, ten pin bowling, cinema, surf pool and nine hole golf putting course. This was followed in February by the opening of AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa. Located on Mahé’s west coast, the 124-room resort blends a contemporary vibe with its European heritage style and offers accommodation, leisure activities and dining options for every age of traveller.

In March MHG added Anantara Siam Bangkok Hotel to the brand’s portfolio. Located in prestigious Rajadamri in the city’s Siam district, the hotel is Anantara’s flagship in its home market of Thailand. The 354-room property is 100% owned by MHG and was reflagged from Four Seasons Bangkok. MHG has confirmed an investment of USD 20 million to enhance the hotel over the coming months.

Also in January MHG announced the strategic acquisition of six Tivoli hotels in Portugal and Brazil, and the Tivoli Hotels & Resorts brand for Brazil. The milestone EUR 168 million investment represents MHG’s entry into the hospitality sector in two new continents and establishes Portugal and Brazil as MHG’s two strategically-chosen countries for future expansion into Europe and South America.

The Brazil acquisition comprises of two properties – a hotel in Sao Paulo and a resort in the heart of an ecological reserve on the coast close to Salvador in Bahia. The investment also represents MHG making strategic asset acquisitions of four Tivoli properties in Portugal – one in the country’s capital of Lisbon and three in the Algarve, one of Europe’s premier tourism destinations. Tivoli is a member of Global Hotel Alliance which three of MHG’s existing brands – Anantara, AVANI and PER AQUUM – also belong to.

Most recently, MHG has added six camps in Kenya to its African portfolio, the result of two of East Africa’s most prestigious property portfolios merging, following the acquisition of Cheli & Peacock Group of Companies by the Elewana Collection. The acquisition sees the six Cheli & Peacock properties, namely, Elsa’s Kopje, Elephant Pepper Camp, Joy’s Camp, Tortilis Camp, Kitich Camp and Lewa Safari Camp, merge under the banner of the Elewana Collection to form a comprehensive circuit of 14 properties spanning the highlights of Northern Tanzania, Kenya and Zanzibar.








2014 DEVELOPMENT HIGHLIGHTS

2014 saw MHG aggressively expand into Africa, with the group announcing an extension of their partnership with Rani Investment LLC to manage three properties in Mozambique, plus making a 25% investment in the properties. This followed the launch of the two companies’ partnership in August 2013 for the operation of a resort in Mozambique, which was rebranded to Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa in late 2013. In September 2014 MHG announced a USD 101 million investment to acquire a 49% stake in a mixed use property project in Mozambique’s capital in a further extension of this joint venture.

These investments in Africa were further consolidated by MHG investing over USD 60 million to own a stake in a collection of Sun International properties in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zambia. Five of the six properties have been rebranded to MHG’s upscale AVANI brand: the 196-key AVANI Gaborone Resort & Casino in Botswana; the 158-key AVANI Lesotho Hotel & Casino and 105-key AVANI Maseru Hotel in Lesotho; the 212-key AVANI Victoria Falls Resort in Zambia, and the 173-key AVANI Windhoek Hotel & Casino in Namibia. The well known Royal Livingstone Hotel maintains its iconic branding and is being marketed through Anantara’s distribution channels.

ANANTARA HOTELS & RESORTS
Looking ahead, 2015 will see MHG’s core luxury Anantara brand debut in two new countries – Oman and Sri Lanka. Opening at the end of the year the 115-key Anantara Jabal Al Akhdar Resort will be the brand’s first property in Oman, which will be followed by Anantara Al Baleed Resort opening in Salalah in the south of the country in 2016 with 136 keys. In August the 152-key Anantara Tangalle Peace Haven Resort is scheduled to open on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, followed in 2016 by Anantara Kalutara Resort with 141 keys.

Recent announcements have also been made for four new pipeline Anantara properties. Slated to welcome its first guests in early 2018, the 290-key Anantara Dubai Creek Hotel is under development in Culture Village in Dubai, a new world-class destination being developed by Dubai Properties Group. Last month MHG announced a partnership with Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company to develop two new Anantara resorts in North Africa, to open in 2017 – the 93-key Anantara Tozeur Resort in the southwest of Tunisia and the 230-key Anantara Al Houara Tangier Resort in northern Morocco. In addition MHG has announced a collaboration agreement with Destination Resorts & Hotels (DRH) in Malaysia to develop an Anantara resort in the country.

PER AQUUM HOTELS & RESORTS
PER AQUUM, MHG’s luxury boutique brand, has just relaunched with a new look, plus the iconic Dream Calendar has been renamed ‘Pulse’, with a new calendar of events to be launched soon. In February the brand announced the opening of a second island at PER AQUUM Niyama, called ‘Play’. PER AQUUM Niyama now offers 48 new suites and pavilions bringing the total number of keys up to 134. With fresh, groundbreaking concepts and facilities for every generation, including a children’s club run by an internationally renowned operator and a treehouse restaurant, Play is connected to PER AQUUM Niyama’s original island, ‘Chill’, by a bridge with the two just a few metres apart. MHG recently took over the management of Essque Zalu Zanzibar in the Indian Ocean. The 49-key boutique hotel will be transformed into a PER AQUUM resort by the end of 2015, complementing the brand’s existing portfolio of three award-winning properties – PER AQUUM Niyama and PER AQUUM Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives and PER AQUUM Desert Palm in Dubai.

AVANI HOTELS & RESORTS
MHG’s upscale AVANI Hotels & Resorts brand grew significantly during 2014, starting the year with three hotels and ending with twelve. Properties were added in Asia in Malaysia, Vietnam and the home market of Thailand, plus in five African countries – Mozambique, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Zambia. The beginning of 2015 has seen the opening of the 124-room AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, a further new country of operation for MHG. Later this year the first new build AVANI hotel will open in Bangkok – AVANI Bangkok Riverside Hotel & Spa. MHG has also just announced a planned investment in the Perth City Link project in the Western Australian capital city, which will see the introduction of the AVANI brand with both a hotel and residences.

OAKS HOTELS & RESORTS
Oaks Hotels & Resorts, one of the leading providers of serviced apartments in Australasia and UAE which MHG took over ownership of in 2011, currently includes 51 properties. Most recently in Australia the new-build 59-key Oaks Carlyle opened in Mackay, Queensland. In 2014 two new-build properties were also added in Australia – the 41-key Oaks Pinnacle opened as the fifth Oaks in Melbourne, and the 138-key Oaks Rivermarque opened in September in Mackay. New-build Oaks properties are also currently under development in Sanya, China and in Bali.

ELEWANA COLLECTION
The Elewana Collection in Africa delivers once-in-a-lifetime experiences in 14 exclusive lodges, camps and hotels in Tanzania and Kenya. Very recently Elewana Collection merged with Cheli & Peacock, which added six camps in Kenya to the portfolio. SkySafari by Elewana, a deluxe all-inclusive package solution, is a bespoke blend of incomparable game viewing opportunities, luxury accommodations, intimate dining choices and tailor made experiences, all combining to create a series of unsurpassable and lifelong memories of Africa.

Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotel Group, commented, “We have already seen a very exciting start to 2015, with the addition of Anantara Siam Bangkok as the new Anantara flagship in Thailand, the opening of resorts in two new countries – Banana Island Resort Doha by Anantara in Qatar and AVANI Seychelles Barbarons Resort & Spa, the acquisition of six hotels under the Tivoli brand in Brazil and Portugal representing two new continents for MHG, and most recently the addition of six camps in Kenya which have joined Elewana Collection. In addition we’ve recently announced new partnerships to develop Anantara properties in Malaysia, Tunisia, Morocco and Dubai and to launch AVANI in Australia.”

Minor Hotel Group (MHG) is a hotel owner, operator and investor, currently with a portfolio of 133 hotels, resorts, camps and serviced suites in operation under the Anantara, AVANI, Per AQUUM, Oaks, Tivoli, Elewana, Marriott, Four Seasons, St. Regis, Radisson Blu and Minor International brands. Today MHG operates almost 17,000 rooms in 22 countries across Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Europe and South America. With ambitious plans to grow the hotel group to 190 properties, MHG continues to expand the home grown brands of Anantara and AVANI, plus continues to announce strategic acquisitions. For more information please visit www.minorinternational.com.
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