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Jungceylon Link in Phuket Laguna Beach Resort Deal

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
LAGUNA Beach Resort, a cornerstone hotel property of the deluxe Laguna Phuket destination resort, will soon undergo a change of ownership.

Laguna Hotels & Resorts Plc., the joint owning company of Laguna Beach Resort, has agreed to sell its shareholding in the hotel for THB 723, 565, 000 to Laguna Phuket Club Co. Ltd., a Thai company controlled by Real Estate Equity Partners (RECAP), an Asian-focused real estate private equity fund.

Laguna's joint venture partner in the hotel has also agreed to sell the remaining shares to Laguna Phuket Club Co. Ltd., to give Recap full ownership of the 252-room deluxe beachfront property. Completion of the deal is expected in May, 2011.

Laguna Beach Resort was the second hotel to be built in Laguna Phuket when it opened in 1992 and is now one of seven deluxe hotel and villa properties in the resort complex.

The operations of Laguna Beach Resort and the Laguna Phuket integrated resort complex will be unaffected by the change of ownership.

RECAP, headed by chairman Suchad Chiaranussati, has a high-profile presence in Thailand's real estate market. It acquired Jungceylon shopping complex and hotel in Phuket in 2006 and has also invested in Bangkok's prestigious four-tower Millennium Residence development.

The change in Laguna Beach Resort's ownership comes six months after Laguna sold another hotel, the Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, to Dusit Thani Plc. for THB 2.62 billion.

Both transactions are in line with Laguna's publicly disclosed strategy of divesting part of its interests in Thailand, enabling focus on emerging opportunities elsewhere in Asia.

Laguna also recently announced that Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts will take over operations of the Sheraton Grande Laguna Phuket when the current management contract with Starwood Hotels & Resorts expires on 30 June 2011. The property will undergo a five-month THB 500 million refurbishment and re-open in December as the Angsana Laguna Phuket.

Michael Ayling, managing director of Laguna Resorts & Hotels, said: ''These recent developments all reflect our commitment to developing our business in Phuket and elsewhere in the region, without compromising our renowned levels of customer service.''

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