11:00' 08/09/2009 (GMT+7)
VietNamNet Bridge – VinaCapital Group, a Viet Nam-focused asset management, investment banking and real estate firm, announced yesterday, September 7, the sale of its entire equity stake in the landmark Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel.
The buyer, and the value of the deal, was not disclosed but the company said the sale of the equity stake would result in an investment return rate of 23 per cent over three years.
"After the VinaCapital fund acquired a majority stake in 2006, we were able to quickly improve the hotel's operations and grow profitability," said Stephen O-Grady, VinaCapital's managing director of hospitality.
"Gross operating profits rose 29.5 per cent in two years to reach over US$9.5 million in 2008, which was the peak year of Viet Nam's hospitality market," he added.
"We are extremely satisfied to exit this asset at a value that is about 10 per cent above the March 2009 book value of the property, which is used to calculate the net asset values of our funds," he said.
"We believe this is a clear indication that despite the global slowdown in the hospitality industry, high-quality properties in Viet Nam remain very attractive for both domestic and international buyers because of their strong long-term value."
In July 2006, VinaCapital purchased a 70 per cent equity stake in the Hilton Hanoi, a five-star, 271-room hotel located in the centre of the capital city.
The Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel was voted Viet Nam's Leading Hotel for five consecutive years by the prestigious World Travel Awards, and designated a historic landmark property by the city of Ha Noi.
VinaCapital, through its AIM-traded investment funds VinaLand Limited (VNL) and VOF, is one of the largest hospitality sector investors in Viet Nam, with a portfolio that includes the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Movenpick Hanoi, Movenpick Saigon, Mercure La Gare Hanoi and Sheraton Nha Trang hotels, in addition to several other hospitality projects under development.
VinaCapital Group was founded in 2003 and has grown from a $10 million fund to a diversified investment firm with more than $1.6 billion in assets under management as of July.
VinaCapital manages three closed-end funds trading on the London Stock Exchange's Alternative Investment Market: Vietnam Infrastructure Limited, VOF and VNL. VinaCapital also co-manages the DFJ VinaCapital technology venture capital fund with Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
VietNamNet/Viet Nam News