Friday, December 28, 2007

Malaxmi Group to enter resort biz with Caribbean island buy

It plans to set up a resort and a community for retired people to cater primarily to clients based in the US

The Malaxmi Group, a Hyderabad-based infrastructure company with interests in power, special economic zones and highways now plans to enter the hospitality business by buying part of an island in the Caribbean Sea.
In what will the group’s first venture overseas, it plans to set up a resort and a community for retired people to cater primarily to clients based in the US.
“We are looking at an island near Florida and it will also add valuation to our 1,755 acre land bank. It will be a resort sort of a thing with (an) old-age village catering to the American customers. We will buy it from the island country’s government,” said Yarlagadda Harish Chandra Prasad, chairman, Malaxmi Infra Ventures (India) Pvt. Ltd.
He declined to disclose the name of the island or the country.
Commenting on the investment required for the project, Prasad maintained that the detailed calculations are yet to be done.
“It depends upon the type of land we get. If we get land near the sea or on a hill with a view of the sea, then it will be a very good venture with investments running into hundreds of crore. I am going there at the end of the next month,” he added.
According to website (www.caribbeanislandbrokers.com), the Carribean has enough islands for sale, for anything between few hundred thousand dollars to a several million dollars.
Siddharth Thaker, associate director, HVS International,a global hospitality consulting firm’s India unit, said that the company’s island resort would have enough takers.
“Old age communities are very popular in the US and are a tested concept,”he added.
The unlisted Malaxmi Group is implementing four projects with a total capital investment of $2 billion (more than Rs8,000 crore) of which the company’s equity investment is around Rs700 crore.
The group has thus far invested Rs20 crore of this. “The money will be raised in phases through bank loans, private equity, strategic investors, non-resident Indians, friends and families. Lot of private equity funds have approached us,” said Prasad.
The company is also looking at islands in Indonesia for its project “We are also looking at islands such as Bontang in Indonesia, but nothing has happened as yet,” Prasad said.
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