Singaporean billionaire Kwek Leng Beng’s city developments to sell Seoul Hilton for $ 934 million

City developments—Controlled by billionaire Kwek Leng Beng and his family — has agreed to sell the Millennium Hilton Seoul and adjacent land to a South Korean asset manager IGIS asset management for 1.1 trillion won ($ 934 million).

The proposed divestment is in line with City Developments’ strategy to unlock the value of some of its long-standing assets, the company said in a statement. declaration. Upon closing of the transaction in February 2022, the company said it would recognize a one-off gain of S $ 529.7 million ($ 388 million). Following the news, City Developments shares rose 2.7% to an intraday high of S $ 7.18 in Singapore.

Located just steps from downtown Seoul, the 22-story Millennium Hilton Seoul is operated by Hilton Hotels & Resorts under a management contract with City Developments Millennium & Copthorne Hotels (M&C). City Developments acquired the vintage 1983 hotel, comprising 680 rooms and 29 suites, from the Daewoo Group for $ 213.5 million in November 1999. It also purchased the adjoining freehold land covering 1,563 square meters in 2013 for 29.5 billion won.

“Since acquiring Millennium Hilton Seoul in the late 1990s, we have consistently invested in the hotel, generated peak performance and extracted good value from the property,” said Kwek Leng Beng, Executive Chairman of City Developments and M&C, in a press release. “We have always believed that this would be an asset that could deliver tremendous shareholder value at the right time and at the right price.”

The sale of the 5-star Millennium Hilton Seoul hotel is M & C’s largest divestiture since the company was founded. private by City Developments in 2019. In recent years, the hotel giant has gotten rid of non-core assets in the United States, including the Millennium Hotel Cincinnati and the Copthorne Hotel Birmingham, with the sale of Millennium Harvest House Boulder due to close next year.

M&C owns, manages and operates more than 145 hotels at 80 locations around the world in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand and the United States As the group’s hotel operations continued to be affected by With the lingering impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Kwek remains optimistic the industry will recover as travel restrictions ease around the world.

“We remain confident in the global hospitality recovery with pent-up demand,” said Kwek. “We will continue to review and refine our portfolio to accelerate the growth and transformation of the group while increasing shareholder value. ”

Kwek, 80, is also chairman of the Hong Leong Group of Singapore, founded by his father in 1941. His cousin Quek Leng Chan, also a billionaire, runs a separate group in Malaysia, also known as Hong Leong. With a net worth of $ 8.5 billion that he shares with his family, Kwek was ranked the eighth richest person in Singapore on Singapore’s 50 richest list released in August. His eldest son Sherman has been CEO of City Developments group since 2018.