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Business deals

Central Group buys 22% stake in Thai luxury hotel chain

The $67m investment makes it Dusit Thani's second-largest shareholder

Dusit Thani operates 29 hotels and resorts in 18 countries, including this site in Bangkok.   © AP

BANGKOK -- The property development arm of Thai retail giant Central Group has acquired a 22.93% stake in Dusit Thani, a local operator of high-end hotels, as a long-term investment.

Central Pattana bought 194.9 million shares -- worth 2.14 billion baht ($67.2 million) -- of the 850 million total ordinary shares in Dusit Thani.

"The purpose of this transaction, made on 9 May 2018, is for the long-term investment," Central Pattana said in a statement, adding that it "is not involved in any business management" of Dusit Thani.

The hotel operator has confirmed the stock sale, done through two major shareholders. Kenneth Korsirisophon parted with an 11.63% stake, while MBK Hotel and Resorts sold an 11.3% interest, according to Dusit Thani's statement.

The deal makes Central Pattana the second-largest shareholder in Dusit Thani. Chanut & Children, a local private equity investor with a 49.74% stake, remains the operator of Dusit Thani's business.

Founded in 1948, Dusit Thani operates 29 hotels and resorts in 18 countries. It posted a net profit of 267 million baht in 2017, up from 114 million baht the prior year. The company's share price dipped 0.88% on Friday to 11.20 baht.

Central Pattana reported net profit of 13.6 billion baht last year, up from 9.2 billion baht in 2016. The stock stood at 78.50 baht, up 1.95% from the previous day.

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