Colony group sees huge return in Raffles sale

Fairmont Raffles Hotel International – controlled by the Los Angeles-based Colony Capital and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal – has sold its stake in Singapore’s Raffles Hotel to consortium led by ex-Credit Suisse banker Mark Pawley.

Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, the hotel group controlled by Colony Capital and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has sold its stake in the world-famous Singapore Raffles Hotel for an undisclosed sum.

The hotel was sold to a consortium led by former Credit Suisse investment banker Mark Pawley, according to a statement released by Fairmont today. Fairmont did not name the members of the consortium. Pawley is chief executive officer of Singapore-based private equity firm Oxley Capital, however the firm told Reuters it was not the buyer.

The 121-year-old Raffles was bought by Colony for about $200 million in 2005 as part of its Colony Investors VII fund. The hotel was part of a bigger acquisition of Fairmont and Raffles hotels, which were merged to create the global hotel operator, according to Colony’s website. Fairmont operates 88 hotels under the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissotel brands.

Singapore media reported that the hotel – which was declared a national monument in 1987 and where the cocktail, the Singapore sling, was invented – was sold for around S$650 million ($471 million).

According to the statement, Fairmont said the sale would provide the company with “significant capital for future growth of our management companies”. The Raffles Hotel would continue to be part of Fairmont’s “hotel collection” and continue to be managed by the firm following the sale.