St Ge­orge’s Bay de­vel­op­ment

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

In­ter­na­tional Ho­tel In­vest­ments plc has is­sued the en­closed state­ment by its chair­man Al­fred Pisani to its share­hold­ers and bond­hold­ers in con­nec­tion with me­dia re­ports re­lat­ing to its pro­posed de­vel­op­ment at St Ge­orge’s Bay.

Our plans for the re­de­vel­op­ment of land to which we al­ready hold ti­tle in St Ge­orge’s Bay are in the news. This is what we have to say:

Firstly, our over-rid­ing plan is to de­liver a lux­ury holis­tic six-star en­vi­ron­ment for our new Corinthia ho­tel, match­ing our brand’s stan­dards world­wide. This is a risk which we are pre­pared to take based on our strong con­fi­dence in the fu­ture of Malta and the po­ten­tial of our tourism prod­uct to at­tract higher-spend­ing vis­i­tors.

Real es­tate de­vel­op­ment will be com­ple­men­tary and sup­port­ive of that main fo­cus, in­clud­ing in the over­all land­scaped set­ting of the de­vel­op­ment.

Sec­ondly, sev­eral ref­er­ences have been made to the land val­u­a­tion. On our side, our po­si­tion on val­u­a­tion is one grounded in a start­ing point where the com­pany al­ready en­joys long-term ex­clu­sive rights to the land, and any fur­ther pay­ments to be made should be rel­a­tive solely to the re­moval of re­stric­tive con­di­tions that cur­rently fo­cus the use of the land for tourism re­lated de­vel­op­ments.

Corinthia’s par­ent com­pany, IHI plc, is a pub­lic com­pany, with some 20,000 Mal­tese share­hold­ers and bond­hold­ers, and will be pub­lish­ing, as it al­ready does, reg­u­lar state­ments on its fi­nan­cial po­si­tion, in­clud­ing this pro­ject.

We are con­fi­dent that Corinthia’s agree­ment to guar­an­tee pay­ments to gov­ern­ment of circa €52m will ul­ti­mately show up to be an eq­ui­table and fair bal­ance in re­la­tion to po­ten­tial re­turns from the de­vel- op­ment of a max­i­mum of 100,000m2 of real es­tate, with­out even tak­ing into ac­count risks as­so­ci­ated to the sub­stan­tial in­vest­ment Corinthia is con­tractu- ally obliged to in­ject in two new lux­ury ho­tels.

The pro­posed trans­ac­tion is not about a sale of land, since this is al­ready in Corinthia’s pos­ses­sion for sev­eral decades to come and all fi­nan­cial con­sid­er­a­tions should thus be solely rel­a­tive to the pro­posed ex­ten­sion of po­ten­tial uses.

In­deed plans will ul­ti­mately show that the sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of the penin­sula will be al­lo­cated to ho­tel use in­clud­ing ex­ten­sive gar­dens, leisure out­door ameni­ties and pub­lic land­scap­ing.

Thirdly, sub­ject to Par­lia­men­tary ap­proval, and sig­na­ture of our re­vised ti­tle deeds, and sub­ject to plan­ning ap­provals, we will pro­ceed to our first phase of the pro­ject which en­vis­ages the re­de­vel­op­ment of the lux­ury Corinthia Ho­tel and its ex­ten­sive land­scaped gar­dens and ameni­ties, as well as the de­vel­op­ment of two lux­ury ser­viced res­i­den­tial blocks, the high­est pro­posed to be 15 floors on land lo­cated be­tween the cur­rent Corinthia and the Radis­son Ho­tel. The ser­viced res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ment will en­joy the same level of ameni­ties and ser­vice as the new Corinthia Ho­tel.

The Ma­rina and Radis­son Ho­tels will re­main in op­er­a­tion, un­til such time that more de­fin­i­tive plans are made in years ahead, al­ways within the lim­its be­ing set upon us by the gov­ern­ment in our re­vised deed, and al­ways sub­ject to plan­ning rules and eco­nomic vi­a­bil­ity.

In con­clu­sion, fore­most in our con­sid­er­a­tions, re­mains also the con­tin­ued wel­fare of our hun­dreds of col­leagues in Malta and the creation of hun­dreds of new jobs given that im­proved ser­vice at lux­ury lev­els will nat­u­rally im­ply sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased staff to guest ra­tios. This is our com­mit­ment.

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