Minor International makes major plans  

Thai listed firm Minor International PLC announced it is stepping into the luxury residential property market with two high-end developments - one in Bangkok and the other in Koh Samui.

The development plans are part of the company's aim to expand its hotel, food and residential businesses over the next four years. The company has earmarked Bt10 billion for its expansion plans.

The 14-unit Samui Beach Residence will be part of the company's Four Seasons Hotel on Koh Samui, which opened February 1 at Laem Yai peninsula. One unit, worth Bt100 million, has already been sold.

The Bangkok property will be located on Ratchadamri Road, next to the company's Four Seasons Hotel. Following the trend toward mixed-use properties, it will have 250 hotel rooms on 30 floors and 75 residential units on 20 floors. Construction has already begun, with the project scheduled for completion in 2009. Units will start at Bt25 million.

According to chief financial officer Pratana Manomaiphiboon, most of the Bt3.5 billion the company has set aside for 2007 will be used to development of the as-of-yet unnamed Ratchadamri project. Pratana, during a meeting with investors at the Stock Exchange of Thailand, said the investment will come from the company's cash flow and the exercise of 250 million warrants by next February.

Minor offers a hotel-management service through its Anantara brand for four hotels in Hua Hin, Chiang Rai, Samui and the Maldives. The number of hotels under its joint ventures and management contracts will increase to over 30 in 2010 due to new openings in Sri Lanka, Bali, Vietnam, India, China, Dubai and the Middle East.

Last year, Minor opened three properties under different brands in the Maldives and also opened two hotels in Thailand: the Four Seasons Tented Camp and the Four Seasons Samui.

Minor's food brands include The Pizza Company, Swensen's, Sizzler, Dairy Queen, Burger King and its Asian fast-food chain, Le Jazz. The group will open 70 to 80 new outlets per year in Thailand, China, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.


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