Weekly Hospitality Industry Asia Pacific News Roundup from HVS
Teo family, Dymon Asia consortium offer to take Amara private at 60 cents a share
Amara Holdings, a Singapore-based hotel group, has received a voluntary cash offer to go private from a consortium at SGD 0.60 per share, representing a 53.8% premium over its share price on June 15. The consortium is led by the group’s CEO, Mr. Albert Teo, his family members, and Dymon Asia Private Equity. The special purpose vehicle Amethyst Assets, partially owned by First Security and Concordia United, seeks to privatize Amara due to challenging growth prospects and low trading liquidity of its shares. The offer aims to provide shareholders with a premium to realize their investments amid market conditions that affect the liquidity and profitability of the hotel, which started operations in 1986. The buyout, presenting a clean cash exit opportunity, will be financed through interest-free loans and a bank loan.
Thailand’s ‘most romantic’ railway through Chiang Rai to open in 2028
After a 60 year wait the 323-kilometre-long railway is set to run through four northern Thai provinces with 26 stations, linking to Chiang Rai. Constructed at a cost of 85.35-billion-baht, construction schedules are 2.7% faster than anticipated. With 80% of the land acquired, several tunnels along the route are currently being dug. Crucially, the rail link to Chiang Rai rail route will not just promote tourism but will also serve as a new goods transport route linking the North of Thailand with Laos and southern China. The new railway will drastically cut travel time by an hour across the rolling hills of northern Thailand. And as declared by the State of Railway Thailand Governor, “this will probably be the most romantic route in Thailand.”
Singapore developing gantry for travellers to clear immigration as they walk through
Singapore is set to revolutionise its border control with the development of a barrier-free gantry allowing travellers to clear immigration in under ten seconds by simply walking through. This Next-Generation Clearance Concept, devised by the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) and showcased at Milipol Paris 2023, will enable swift biometric verification through facial and iris recognition. HTX, in collaboration with Idemia, is also developing a self-enrolment kiosk for autonomous biometric registration, harnessing artificial intelligence to ensure the accuracy and quality of the data captured. This innovation, part of Singapore’s commitment to leading in technological advancements for security, promises to enhance the travel experience through efficiency and convenience.
Hobart ferry master plan for new 6 new proposed terminals
With the release of a new master plan, six new proposed terminals can be added to the River Derwent’s ferry system in a bid to solve Hobart’s traffic problems. The masterplan lays out direct and “stitched’ routes, where ferry routes would stop along multiple wharves to the main destination. Due to traffic congestion in Hobart, there are few alternatives to the main Tasman Bridge which is the shortest link to Hobart International Airport and the city centre. Hence, a master plan of ferry routes across the river Derwent are planned to relieve traffic pressures between the western City Centre and the eastern shore. The new master plan follows a successful trial 15-minute service between Bellerive and Hobart’s Brooke Street Pier, attracting 250,000 people over a 12-month trial. Further expansion of the ferry infrastructure along the river Derwent would go towards supporting existing tourist ferries to Moorilla Estate’s winery or to Iron Pot’s Lighthouse. Overall, the management of the traffic is part of a wider plan to get more people to Hobart’s, with other infrastructural plans such as a proposed 23,000-seater stadium in Macquarie Point.
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