Ceylon Hotels Maldives Ltd. (CHML), a subsidiary of Ceylon Hotels Corporation Plc and a member of the Galle Face Group of Companies, has entered into a 50:50 Joint Venture with Zhen Hua Engineering Company Ltd (ZHEC), a group company of China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC).
Although CHEC and Galle Face Group already have business interests in the Maldives, this JV provides a strong competitive platform for both parties to enter into the Maldivian leisure sector.
Founded in 1980, China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd. (CHEC) is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company Ltd. (CCCC), one of the Global Fortune 500 companies.
Being a major operation arm of CCCC on the international level, CHEC’s 80 branches and representative offices have a global footprint in over 145 countries. Its 10,000 plus employees are currently undertaking $ 19.0 billion worth of projects globally.
From 2012, CHEC has begun to focus on the investment field and invests mainly in four major areas i.e. ports, energy, real estate and infrastructure. At present, CHEC’s largest investment project in Sri Lanka is the Colombo Port City Project, with a total investment of $ 1.4 billion.
CHML is a part of the Galle Face Group of Companies, which includes The Ceylon Hotels Corporation
Plc, Kandy Hotels Company (1938), The Galle Face Hotel Company Ltd. and United Hotels Company Ltd., motels and rest houses around the country and the chain of quick service restaurants under the Avanhala brand.
The group owns or has interests in over 20 hotel and leisure properties across Sri Lanka, including such iconic properties as the Galle Face Hotel and the Queens Hotel in Kandy.
The Galle Face Group, headed by Chairman Sanjeev Gardiner, is primarily involved in hotel ownership, management and operations, real estate and investments both in Sri Lanka and overseas. Apart from being the oldest hotel management company in Sri Lanka, it has a diversified portfolio of strategic business interests in textiles, manufacture, footwear, IT and financial services through its investments in Taprobane Holdings Plc.
In terms of the said Joint Venture, CHML and ZHEC will develop, construct and operate an upscale resort of 85-100 rooms on Ambara Island, Vaavu Atoll in the Maldives. Vaavu Atoll is consistently rated as one of the top 10 diving spots in the Maldives. The resort is scheduled to open in 2020. The total project cost is set at $ 50 million.
This will be one of the largest JV projects undertaken by the Galle Face Group. Joining hands with such a large global entity will provide many opportunities for growth and development of the Galle Face Group,” said Gardiner.
“This is a unique business proposition because the Galle Face Group as a hotel expert and CHEC as a construction expert create a very exciting synergy which has a lot of potential for further strategic partnerships in the future. Speaking for myself and my team, we are very enthusiastic about extending the group’s global footprint across new markets and regions and creating sustainable long-term value for our shareholders.”