Selendiva Leisure IPO due 31 July

  • 49% of shares to be listed

  • Company has Grand Hyatt, Grand Oriental, and Hilton under portfolio

  • Selendiva yet to apply for listing, CSE says

By Yakuta Dawood

Grand Hyatt Colombo

The much-hyped listing of Selendiva Leisure, a state-owned dedicated property development entity that plans to revive loss-making state-owned key enterprises, is set to announce its Initial Public Offering (IPO) by the end of this month, The Sunday Morning Business learns.

Speaking to us, Selendiva Investments Ltd. Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shamahil Mohideen confirmed that the scheduled date of the IPO is 31 July, adding that there could be, however, delays due to unforeseen circumstances.

“Documentations are getting formulated right now and later prospectus would be prepared. However, there could be delays in announcing the IPO at CSE (Colombo Stock Exchange) due to Covid-19 and other documentation issues,” Mohideen said.

He stated that 49% of Selendiva Leisure will be listed at CSE, which will basically have three hotels: Grand Oriental Hotel, Grand Hyatt Colombo hotel and residences, and Hilton Colombo.

Grand Orient Hotel

Meanwhile, speaking to The Sunday Morning Business, a CSE official, who wished to remain anonymous, stated that Selendiva Leisure has not yet applied for a formal application to be listed under CSE.

The Cabinet of Ministers on 4 March 2020 approved the proposed investment facilitation structure for the newly formed Selendiva Investments Ltd., allowing the firm to set up three investment portfolios under the public-private partnership (PPP) model as a measure for the better management of state assets.

The Treasury holds full ownership of the company, and state-owned Canwill Holdings (Pvt.) Ltd. (owning company of Hilton Colombo), Hotel Developers (Lanka) Ltd., and Grand Oriental Hotel have been vested with Selendiva Investments at present.

As per the cabinet paper submitted by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Minister of Urban Development and Housing, and approved by the Cabinet of Ministers, an investment facilitation model based on a PPP has been planned by Selendiva Investments with a view to facilitate the identified state-owned institutions and investments. Under this, it has been identified to implement three investment portfolios: The Heritage Square in Colombo Fort, real estate development, and the state-owned hospitality sector.

Hilton Colombo

Nevertheless, the Opposition raised several concerns after the Selendiva Leisure announcement of being listed on CSE.

The United National Party (UNP) earlier this month urged the Government to publicly reveal the details regarding the operations of Selendiva Investments.

Saying that as the constitutionally empowered body to oversee public finance, it is the prerogative of Parliament to approve the establishment of such an institution, the UNP asked the Government whether the relevant legislation regarding Selendiva Investments has been presented to Parliament for approval.

Further, the UNP has questioned the Government as to what guidelines have been enforced to govern the operations of, and appointments to, this company. They reiterated that the sovereignty of Parliament has once again been threatened by the creation of such a company.

Similarly, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) also raised concerns, as they claimed the lands in Colombo are being sold at a time when the Port City Bill has been passed and therefore, there is a connection between both of these moves.

JVP MP Vijitha Herath said that by transferring the head office of People’s Bank and clearing properties such as Grand Oriental Hotel and Hilton Hotel, as well as lands near the Beira Lake and on D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, they are trying to annex these lands to the Port City and allow Chinese companies to administer these areas at their own will.

“There is an ulterior motive behind this. That is why these are taking place. The cabinet paper received approval on 17 May; on 18 May, Parliament received the court determination on the Port City Bill. It was debated on 19 May and passed on 20 May. These incidents are all linked,” he added.