MUI confirms Corus Hotel Hyde Park is for sale

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KUALA LUMPUR (April 30): Malayan United Industries Bhd (MUI) has confirmed a news report that it is putting its Corus Hotel Hyde Park in London up for sale.

Britain's The Times newspaper reported yesterday that MUI has appointed international investment bank N.M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd as its financial adviser for the sale.

In a statement today, MUI said Rothschild will assist MUI's indirect wholly-owned subsidiary Corus Hotels Ltd in exploring strategic options for the asset as well as to ensure that only credible international investors are shortlisted and considered.

"This is in line with the group's strategy to rationalise the business, to pare down its overall bank borrowings and to unlock value for its shareholders. Hospitality will continue to be a core business of the group," MUI said.

However, the group said it will adopt a more focused strategy that would be more lifestyle-driven and asset-light to grow its hotel business moving forward.

MUI is also progressing into other segments of the hospitality business such as Laura Ashley Tea rooms, cafes and spas.

"As recently announced by its chairman and chief executive officer, Mr Andrew Khoo Boo Yeow, the rationalisation of assets, which includes selected asset disposals, will form part of the group's business transformation strategy," MUI added.

MUI's share price closed 0.5 sen or 2.63% lower at 18.5 sen, giving the group a market capitalisation of RM542.52 million. Yesterday, the counter jumped 9% after it was reported that the London hotel will be put up for sale.