09 August 2006

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Business Today

IHI issues EUR2m share transfer to Kuwaiti property giant

Matthew Vella

International Hotel Investments (IHI) has completed the first of a three-stage agreement with National Projects Holding Company (NPHC), a subsidiary of Kuwaiti group National Real Estate Company (NREC), when it issued 2 million shares at a price of 1 euro to NPHC on Monday, a deal worth Lm861,490.
The alliance is part of NREC’s strategy at entering the international hotel sector employing IHI plc, whose main shareholder is the Corinthia Group.
Under the terms of agreement signed back in April 2006, the share issue comes with a six-month option expiring on 31 October, 2006 to subscribe to a further 33 million shares at 1 euro each (Lm14.1 million).
NPHC and IHI will then aim to raise a further EUR75 million (Lm32.3 million) in equity by 31 May 2007 at a price to be determined at the time.
Listed on the Kuwait and Dubai Stock Exchange and with a USD1.5 billion market capitalisation, NREC is a leading real estate company with multinational investments in large developments.
NREC also owns a majority shareholding in PWC Logistics, one of the world’s largest logistics and warehousing companies with a turnover of USD8 billion.
NREC owns and manages the largest retail malls in Kuwait and has recently signed a strategic partnership with the Jordanian government for the development of a 2 million square metre business park.
Meanwhile, on Monday, Corinthia Hotels International, the hotel management arm of Corinthia Group, the main shareholder in IHI, announced the appointment of Tony Potter as Chief Executive Officer.
Potter has occupied senior roles in global hotel companies throughout his career, most recently CEO with Millennium & Copthorne plc.
“I am excited by the prospect of joining Corinthia Hotels International and building upon what is already an excellent reputation,” Potter said.
Corinthia Hotels International manages 20 hotels in the four and five-star category in Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean, having a total of 5,300 bedrooms, and a network of sales offices worldwide. The company is set to embark on a rapid growth phase in the coming years, operating hotels being developed or acquired by its parent hotel investor company, as also for third party asset owners.


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