07 Dec

Ascott Builds Strong Foothold In India By Securing Two More Properties In Chennai And Bangalore

Singapore, 7 December 2006 – The Ascott Group (Ascott) is aggressively building a strong foothold in .India, having secured its second and third properties in Chennai and Bangalore.  The acquisitions are part of the master development agreement (MDA) signed with The Rattha Group (Rattha) in August to acquire and develop seven serviced residences in India by 2010.

Ascott will take a 40% equity stake in the two new properties to be named Somerset Whitefield in Bangalore and Citadines Boulevard in Chennai.  Rattha will hold the remaining majority stake.  Ascott will also manage the properties for a period of 10 years with an option to renew the management contracts for another 10 years.

Totalling 450 units, the two service residences bring Ascott’s portfolio in India from 210 units to 660 units.  Ascott’s first serviced residence in India, Somerset Greenways in Chennai, was announced in August.

Mr Cameron Ong, Ascott’s Managing Director and CEO said: “The south of India has been seeing strong growth in foreign investments.  Given the shortage of international-class accommodation here, the market has tremendous capacity to absorb supply.  Ascott is the first international serviced residence operator to enter Chennai and Bangalore.  We’re leveraging on our international brand name and first-mover advantage to build a strong foothold in India’s serviced residence business.”

“There is a growing demand particularly from younger business executives and single business travellers for smaller-sized apartment units that offer good value.  Our Citadines properties are ideal to cater to this market segment.  Going forward, the Citadines brand is expected to be a key driver in Ascott’s expansion in Asia, including India,” Mr Ong added.

With three properties in India, Ascott is poised to achieve its target of at least 1,000 units by 2010 under the MDA with Rattha, as well as its target to have a total of 2,000 units in the whole of India by 2010.

Somerset Whitefield, Bangalore
Bangalore, widely known as the “Silicon Valley” of India, is one of the fastest growing metropolitan cities which has rapidly emerged as the Information Technology (IT) hub of the country.

The 230-unit serviced residence is strategically located in the heart of Whitefield, home to numerous international and Indian software companies such as Oracle, SAP Labs, IBM, GE Research (Jack Welsh Centre) and Dell.

The property is within walking distance to some of these companies and five minutes’ drive away from the upcoming Shantiniketan integrated development comprising a retail mall, office space, a cineplex and convention centre.

Somerset Whitefield is targeted to open in the second half of 2008 with studio, one and two-bedroom units.  When completed, the serviced residence will have distinctive landscaping with lush greenery.  Other facilities include a swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis court and restaurant.

Citadines Chennai Boulevard
The 220-unit property is strategically located along Mount Poonamelle Road, about 10 kilometres from the city centre, near the Porur area where numerous IT parks are located, with at least 16 million square feet of office space currently being developed.

Citadines Chennai Boulevard is also located on the main trunk road leading to the Sriperumbudur industrial area, which is 10 to 20 kilometres away.  Sriperumbudur is home to major electronic and hardware manufacturing companies such as Nokia, Motorola and Hyundai.

The property will feature a generous landscape garden, swimming pool, gymnasium and restaurant.  The property is slated to open in the first half of 2008 with studio and one-bedroom units.

About The Rattha Group

The Rattha Group is in the field of exports, infrastructure development and leasing.  It is now diversifying into the hospitality industry through its joint venture with The Ascott Group.  The Rattha Group has been in the field of exports from India for almost two decades and has major presence in the European and American markets. 

The infrastructure arm of the Group has successfully bid, developed and delivered for world leaders in information technology like Accenture and Satyam.  Projects measuring close to 2 million square feet are being delivered and there are projects in the pipeline for about 4 million square feet to be completed over the next three years.  The Group has acquired land banks in the metro cities to facilitate its large scale expansion plans in the hospitality sector.

About The Ascott Group

The Ascott Group is the largest international serviced residence owner-operator outside the United States with close to 18,000 serviced residence units in key cities of Asia Pacific, Europe and the Gulf region.

The Group operates three brands –Ascott, Somerset and Citadines. Its portfolio spans 46 cities in 20 countries including London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Barcelona in Europe; Singapore, Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Chennai in Asia; Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland in Australia / New Zealand, as well as Dubai in the Gulf region.

The Ascott Group is headquartered in Singapore.  It pioneered Asia Pacific's first branded luxury serviced residence in 1984. It also established the world’s first pan-Asian serviced residence real estate investment trust, Ascott Residence Trust in 2006. Today, the Group boasts a 22-year industry track record and serviced residence brands that enjoy recognition worldwide.

The Ascott Group’s achievements have been recognised internationally.  Recent awards include Travel Weekly China 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence’, Business Traveller China 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand in China’, TTG Travel 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence’, 2006 World Travel Awards, Business Traveller Asia Pacific 2006 ‘Best Serviced Residence Brand’ and ‘Best Serviced Residence’ awards.  For a full list of awards, please visit: https://www.the-ascott.com/aboutus/awards_and_accolades.html?year=2007

Listed on the mainboard of the Singapore Exchange, The Ascott Group is the serviced residence arm of CapitaLand Limited, one of the largest listed real estate companies in Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, the multinational company's core businesses in property, hospitality and real estate financial services are focused in gateway cities in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. The company's property and hospitality portfolio spans more than 80 cities in 20 countries.

CapitaLand also leverages on its significant real estate asset base and market knowledge to develop real estate financial products and services in Singapore and the region. The listed subsidiaries and associates of CapitaLand include The Ascott Group, Raffles Holdings, CapitaMall Trust, CapitaCommercial Trust, Ascott Residence Trust and Australand, which is listed both in Singapore and Australia. 



Celina Low, Vice President, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0475 

Hp: (65) 9682 5458 

Email: celina.low@the-ascott.com

Huang Peiling, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

Tel: (65) 6586 0475 

Hp: (65) 98453361 

Email: huang.peiling@the-ascott.com

Lilian Goh, Investor Relations

Tel: (65) 6586 7231 

Hp: (65) 9795 5225 

Email: lilian.goh@the-ascott.com