28 Nov

Ascott to Expand Presence in Middle East and North Africa through Strategic Alliance with Addax Investment Bank

The Ascott Group (Ascott), a leading international serviced residence company, and Bahrain-based Addax Investment Bank today signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to launch a cluster of The Ascott and Somerset-branded serviced residences across the Middle East and North Africa.

Under the terms of the MOU, Addax Investment Bank will set up and manage an investment fund to finance the acquisition of the serviced residences. Ascott will manage the serviced residences, provide
consultation on the development, design and renovation of the properties as well as create marketing and branding programmes for the properties.

The fund aims to acquire at least 15 properties, at an approximate rate of three per year, across the Middle East and North Africa by 2010. When completed, the serviced residences will have about 120 to 250 rooms each, with varying room sizes and types to cater to the needs of travelling executives.

Ascott’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Cameron Ong said: "This strategic alliance is in line with Ascott’s strategy to go asset light. It also enables us to increase our presence in Middle East and North Africa to tap into the region’s business potential and to respond to increasing demand for serviced residences in the region. As the largest international serviced residence owner-operator in Asia Pacific and Europe, Ascott is well-recognised in the industry for providing quality services. This alliance with Addax
Investment Bank will enable us to leverage on each other’s strong brand reputation and expertise to provide serviced residences that cater to the needs of corporate executives and expatriates in the region.”

Yousef Al-Essa, General Manager of Addax Investment Bank, said: “The upscale serviced apartment market has been identified as one of the leading growth areas in the region’s developing tourism infrastructure. To reach World Tourism Organisation’s target figures of 69 million visitors to the Middle East by 2020, the Arabian tourism industry needs to develop new tiers of quality accommodation. – which highlights that time is ripe for Ascott’s expansion into the Middle East and North Africa.”

Al-Essa further added: “Addax has already established a track record by structuring and placing a landmark US$150 million deal to launch 20 Express by Holiday Inn Hotels across five countries in the Gulf Co-Operation Council (GCC).” 

The memorandum of understanding is not expected to have any material impact on the Ascott’s financial results for the current financial year.

About Addax Investment Bank

Addax, a Middle East bank headquartered in Bahrain, was founded in 2003 and has already built up a portfolio of innovative investments in the region, including the structuring and placement of the US$150 million deal to finance 20 Express by Holiday Inn hotels across five countries in the GCC. Addax has an authorised capital of US$100 million and is regulated by the Bahrain Monetary Agency (BMA).

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is a leading international serviced residence company with 15,000 serviced residence units in the key cities of Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Gulf region. Ascott's global presence spans 40 cities in 17 countries. These include London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai and Beijing in Asia; as well as Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia/New Zealand.

Headquartered in Singapore, The Ascott Group pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. Today, it boasts a 21-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

The Group operates three brands – The Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its achievements have been recognised internationally; it has clinched numerous prestigious awards including ‘Best  Accommodation’ by The Ascott Metropolis Auckland in the 2005 World Travel Awards, TTG Asia Media’s Best Serviced Residence Operator award and the Business Traveller’s 2005 Best Serviced Residence Brand and Best Serviced Residence in Asia Pacific awards. For a full list of these awards, please visit : https://www.theascott.com/aboutus/awards_and_accolades.html?year=2007

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, Ascott is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of Asia’s largest listed property companies. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in property, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia, Australia and Europe. Its property and hospitality portfolio spans 70 cities in 17 countries.

For reservations on Ascott properties, call Central Reservations on (65) 6272-7272 or visit www.the-ascott.com