Sri Lanka: Responding to some recent comments by media on the divestment of the Hilton and Hyatt, the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media has clarified as follows:
What has been called for is only an initial expression of interest via a simple response format limited to background information on investors who are interested in participating in the sale process. If more time is required by investors to fill the simple format, this can be accommodated. The expression of interest does not require a priced bid.
The responses received will be reviewed by the relevant Cabinet appointed committees following which, serious bona fide parties will be invited to execute a Non-Disclosure Agreement prior to receiving an information memorandum on the two hotels and a formal process letter with detailed instructions for such serious parties, which will also outline the process of evaluation, due diligence, offers and final bidding process over the next few months.
This initial step is required due to both hotels being managed by international hotel brands via a hotel management contract and the requirement to protect confidential financial and commercial information.
This divestment will target local and foreign investors with a proven track record and commercial integrity with the assistance of the Cabinet appointed financial advisers to the transaction, Lazard Asia and MTI Consulting Sri Lanka who will reach out to investors through their global offices. The advisers have already mapped out the potential catchment of international and local hospitality investors and are in the process of reaching out to them.
It is after this initial step of all interested parties signing a confidentiality agreement that the transparent bidding process will start under supervision of the relevant Cabinet appointed committee, where prospective investors will have ample time over several months to prepare financial bids and bid conditions.