Istithmar acquires control stake in $130m Bangkok hotel

Istithmar has acquired a control stake in a $130 million hotel being developed in the heart of Bangkok’s commercial district. It is the latest in a series of planned investments in the region by the Dubai-based group.

Istithmar, the private equity arm of government-owned Dubai World, has purchased an 80 percent stake in a new $130 million luxury hotel development planned for a prime location in the heart of Bangkok’s commercial district.

Istithmar is partnering locally-listed Golden Land Property Development, a Thai developer that holds the leasehold for the 16,000 square meter site, which is centred on historical landmark Russian Embassy complex. The 400-room luxury hotel will be part of Golden Land’s Sathorn Square development, which will also include a 70,000 square metre office tower. Construction of the hotel will start later this year. It is expected to open in 2010.

This is Istithmar’s second deal in Thailand in two days, following yesterday’s announcement of a $20 million investment for a 40 percent stake in a development of 30 budget hotels across Southeast Asia. Another transaction in the country will follow shortly, according to a source close to the company.

Joe Sita, chief executive of Istithmar Hotels, told PEI that Vietnam was another attractive destination in the region for the development of luxury hotels.

Istithmar is keen to increase its investment allocation to Asia from the current level of 5 percent to as much as 20 percent by 2009-2010, according to Richard Johnson, managing director of Istithmar Real Estate.