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LOLC Group’s Browns Investments signs a historic agreement with Spain’s Barceló Group

7 November 2019 Colombo: LOLC Group’s subsidiary company, Browns Investments PLC, today signed an agreement with the Barceló Hotel Group to develop a three hotels complex in North Male’ Atoll, Maldives and to manage five leisure properties of Browns Hotels and Resorts in Sri Lanka and Maldives.

With the signing of their latest management agreement with Browns Investments, Barceló Group will make its maiden entry into Asia through Sri Lanka and Maldives. Barceló will join Browns Investments in developing three 5star hotels with 470 keys in North Male Atoll, with an investment of USD 30 Mn for a stake of 33.33% shares of Bodufaru Beach Resorts Ltd. The total value of the development will be USD 150 Mn. Barceló will be the operator for these properties under Bodufaru, the property currently under construction Bodufinolhu with 100 rooms in the South Ari Atoll, and Nasandhura Palace in Maldives, the most sought-after real estate in Male. In Sri Lanka, Barceló will be the operator for the five-star property in the southern coast, The Eden Resort & Spa with 158 keys and The Paradise Resort & Spa holding 67 Eco-villas in Dambulla. The signing ceremony was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka between the Deputy Chairman of the LOLC Group and Chairman, Browns Group, Mr. Ishara Nanayakkara and Mr. Raúl González Chief Executive Officer of Barceló Hotel Group.

The Eden Resort & Spa and The Paradise Resort & Spa are two of the most sought after holiday destinations in Sri Lanka, located in the country’s most idyllic locations. The Eden Resort & Spa is a blissful haven of tranquillity featuring a pristine stretch of golden-hued shore, kissed by the azure blue waters of the Indian Ocean. The Paradise Resort & Spa offers a luxurious stay in the very heart of Sri Lanka’s famed Cultural Triangle amidst lush greenery and contemporary amenities.

In the Maldives, Nasandhura Palace is a 136 roomed five-star hotel, in the midst of an ultra-modern mixed development project consisting of a high-end retail shopping mall and 118 exclusive apartments. Being located in close proximity to the Velana International Airport is an added advantage to its lure. Bodufinolhu Resort in the South Ari Atoll is located on seven hectares of land.Mr. Ishara Nanayakkara commenting on this historic occasion said, “We are extremely pleased to be joining with The Barceló Hotel Group, a world renowned hotel chain, and extend our gratitude for the confidence in choosing the LOLC Group as their partners in their first venture into the Asian region. We believe this historic venture will bring great synergies for the LOLC Group’s Leisure business, particularly as we commence with this unique leisure property in North Male’ valued at USD 150 Mn.”

Raúl González, CEO of Barceló Hotel Group EMEA, said “Entry into the Global Tourist Hotspots of Sri Lanka and the Maldives has always been a part of our long-term Strategic Geographic expansion plan. However, entering such a new region comes with risks which are unknow to us. Therefore, it was important for us to enter the region with the right partner and LOLC backed Browns Hotels & Resorts was to us the best fit. Not only were we impressed with the quality of the portfolio and the scale they offered to us in the region but also their proactive attitude towards the search for the best agreement considering the interests of both parties and expectations of joint growth in the region.”

Barceló Hotel Group, founded in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) 88 years ago and still run as a family business, operates 247 hotels in 21 countries. Barceló Hotel Group features 4 brands: Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts, Barceló Hotels & Resorts, Occidental Hotels & Resorts and Allegro Hotels. In addition to operating over 55,000 rooms in its hotel business and its travel business operates over 665 travel agencies in 4 continents, the group has earned a ranking as Spain’s second-largest hotel chain and one of the leading tourism companies worldwide.

Browns Investments PLC is a subsidiary of Brown and Company PLC, LOLC Group’s investment arm under which all non-financial sectors of the Group are clustered. As the key driver of the Group’s business diversification strategies, Browns Investments plays an active management role in selected investments. The company’s current portfolio consists of a diverse business interests in high-growth sectors.

Building on its signature strength in the Financial Sector, LOLC Group has driven varied investments in growth sectors of the Non-Financial sphere with a current portfolio comprising investments in Sri Lanka, Maldives and Africa, such as plantations, renewable energy, manufacturing and trading, leisure, healthcare and construction. Sunbird Bio-energy Sierra Leone Limited, is the highlight of the overseas expansion strategy in the non-financial sector, comprising 23,500 hectares of an integrated farm that generates power, sugar and bio ethanol, and is one of the largest agricultural projects in the African continent.

Standing from left to right: Mr. Sanjana Fernando, Managing Director, STF Corporate Advisory, Mr. Kamantha Amarasekera, Director, Browns Investments, Mr. Javier Abadia Jordana, Corporate Managing Director of Barceló Hotel Group, Mr. Raúl González, Chief Executive Officer of Barceló Hotel Group, Mr. Ishara Nanayakkara, Deputy Chairman, LOLC Group and Chairman, Browns Group, Mr. Kapila Jayawardena, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of LOLC Group and Mrs. Kalsha Amarasinghe, Executive Director, LOLC Group.