ABU DHABI, Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) has announced a US$104.8 million (AED 385 million) agreement with Minor International Public Company Limited (MINT) to jointly hold shares in five tourist resort assets in Thailand, including Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort, Avani and Riverside Bangkok Hotel, Riverside Plaza Bangkok, Anantara Layan Phuket Resort and Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui.

This is ADFD’s first investment in Thailand’s tourism and hospitality sector, which is key to the nation’s overall economy and contributes 20 percent of the country’s total GDP. With MINT, ADFD is partnering with one of the largest hospitality and leisure companies in the Asia-Pacific region operating more than 520 hotels and resorts. The five properties ADFD is investing in combined have more than 760 rooms and support nearly 500 jobs.

Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director-General of ADFD, said, "Tourism has long been a vital driver of Thailand’s economy and a large component of the nation’s employment base. We see tremendous potential in the future trajectory of Thailand’s tourism and hospitality sector. Given MINT’s leading position as the strongest hospitality operator in Thailand, this long-term investment partnership complements our investment strategy to collectively promote economic growth of our partner countries."

Dillip Rajakarier, Group CEO of Minor International, said, "This transaction signifies our continuous commitment to strengthen our balance sheet and solidify our liquidity position to ensure that we are poised for both the recovery to come and long-term growth. MINT is pleased to be in a long-term partnership with ADFD and is looking forward to working together in the future to bolster impact in the countries in which we operate together."

The shareholding structure of the joint venture will be 60 percent held by MINT and 40 percent of each asset by ADFD. This valuation of the transaction reflects ADFD’s strong confidence in MINT asset management performance and the future economic projections for Thailand’s tourism and hospitality sector.

For MINT, the ADFD investment will reduce the company’s debt level and strengthen its balance sheet position. The five assets will continue to be operated under the existing brands and under the control of MINT.

Established in 1971, ADFD is the UAE’s leading bilateral development financing institution funding sustainable and inclusive growth in the UAE and developing nations. The Fund also maintains a robust investment portfolio that has a major focus on investing in public and private companies, government bonds and private equity funds that contribute to the economic growth of the countries ADFD invests in.

ADFD’s investment strategy is to invest in companies that play a crucial role stimulating economic growth and creating job opportunities across key strategic sectors such as tourism, industry, holding companies, real estate, and private equities.

Source: Emirates News Agency