Mohammed Ali., Galfar group sold Kovalam Beach
in Kerala about Rs 120 crores to Hotel Leela Ventures
Kovalam Beach Resort in
Le Meridien Kovalam is the first, finest and the
largest 5 star beach resort of Kerala, located
at famed Kovalam Beach 15km south of Trivandrum
Leela to buy Kovalam resort - Rs
120 crore deal likely to be signed next week
Mumbai June 30, 2005
Hotel Leela Ventures will take over the 55-acre
Kovalam Beach Resort in Kerala from the M Far
group for about Rs 120 crore. The deal is likely
to be signed next week, Peter J Leitgeb, president,
The Leela Palaces and Resorts, said.
Kovalam Beach Resort is the largest beach resort
in Kerala, with over 195 rooms. The resort commands
a room rate of over Rs 12,000 per day of stay.
"Leela will buyout Kovalam Beach Resort
for a consideration of Rs 90-Rs 120 crore. We
will spend another Rs 40 crore on upgradation
and renovation of the hotel in two phases,which
will begin from August," Leitgeb said.
"It is a good beach and ayurveda health
resort. The resort also has a conference hall
which can contain about 1,000 delagates. We
would like to promote ayurveda during the peak
seasons and off-seasons. We would give more
emphasis on promoting conventions and exhibitions
in the hotel," he added.
The resort is owned by the M Far group, a subsidiary
of NRI-controlled Galfar group, and is being
managed by the Le Meridien group.
The Galfar group had bought the former ITDC
property in July 2002 at Rs 44 crore and renamed
it Kovalam Hotels Pvt Ltd, entrusting it to
the Le Meridien group.
The acquisition deal, however, excludes the
Halcyon Castle which lies adjacent to the resort.
The palace, built by a member of the former
royal family of Travancore in the 1930s, has
been the subject of a dispute over ownership.
Several local groups, including political parties,
have argued that the property belongs to the
state government and hence could not be transferred
to M-Far Hotels as part of the disinvestment
The governor of Kerala recently promulgated
an ordinance taking over the Halcyon Castle
and 4.113 hectares of land appertaining to it
from the M-Far Hotels at Kovalam.
The Halcyon Castle is possibly the most expensive
resort in Kerala with a room in the castle fetching
Rs 15,000 for a single-day occupancy.
buys former ITDC hotel for Rs 120 cr
MUMBAI, JUNE 4: Yet another hotel property
disinvested by the government has changed
hands. The board of directors of Hotel Leelaventure
Ltd on Friday approved the acquisition of
Kovalam Hotels Ltd in Kerala for Rs 120 crore.
The 192-room hotel, which was sold by
government-owned ITDC for Rs 44 crore in the
disinvestment programme in 2002, was purchased
from M Far group, a subsidiary of the Galfar
Group, headed by NRI businessman Mohammed
The the 64.5-acre propertys deal has
been signed at Rs 120 crore. Mumbai-based
Leela group, owned by Captain Krishnan Nair
and family, currently operates hotels in Mumbai,
Goa and Bangalore. The board also decided
to go in for $90 million foreign currency
issue/borrowing to finance the acquisition,
the company informed the BSE on Saturday.
But the deal excludes the Halcyon Castle,
which has been caught in litigation. The Marxist-led
Opposition in Kerala has been campaigning
against an individual appropriating the disputed
Galfar had purchased the former ITDC property
in July 2002 and renamed it Kovalam Hotels
Pvt Ltd, entrusting it to the Le Meridian
group for management. The sale of Kovalam
Hotels has come in the wake of the controversy
surrounding the premium sale of the Centaur
Hotel in Mumbai by the NDA government.
took over the Halcyon Castle,
Kovalam possessed by NRI, the Gulf-based Mfar
Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 28, 2004
A day after the Kerala government took over
the Halcyon Castle and surrounding 4.13 hectare
of land at Kovalam, the Revenue officials today
sealed two more buildings in the complex that
were possessed by the Gulf-based Mfar Group.
The eviction proceedings of
26 more buildings in the land taken over by
the government from the hotel group had slowed
down a bit today since District Collector Tinku
Biswal had given 48 hours time yesterday to
remove the articles.
The heritage property was in
the custody of the NRI business group
after it purchased the adjacent Ashoka Hotel
from the ITDC under a disinvestment deal two
But the public outcry to restore
the castle, built by the erstwhile Travancore
Royal family, forced the government to take
it over. However, the hotel group has challenged
the decision in the High Court.
Meanwhile, the authorities clarified
that they did not want to put hurdles on the
smooth functioning of the Kovalam Hotel.
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