ril: RIL buying iconic Mandarin Oriental, New York for $98 million

MUMBAI: Reliance Industries (RIL), controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, is buying Mandarin Oriental, New York for $98 million, adding an iconic property to its hospitality and retail assets.
Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings, a wholly-owned arm of RIL, has inked an agreement to buy 73% of Columbus Centre Corporation, the Cayman Islands-based shareholder of Mandarin Oriental, New York, said a stock exchange filing late on Saturday. RIL would look to buy the remaining 27% in Mandarin Oriental if its other shareholders would like to exit from the property. If the other owners of the hotel elect to participate in the sale transaction, Reliance would acquire the remaining 27% based on the same valuation for the 73% stake, the filing said.
The acquisition will add to the consumer and hospitality footprint of RIL, which already has investments in EIH Ltd (Oberoi Hotels), Stoke Park in UK and is developing a convention centre, hotel and managed residences in BKC Mumbai. The transaction is expected to be closed by the end of March.
Mandarin Oriental, New York, established in 2003, had a revenue of $15 million in 2020. In 2018, its revenue was $115 million. The property is close to the Tata Group‘s Pierre hotel in New York.
The Mandarin Oriental, New York’s acquisition highlights RIL’s rapid shift toward consumer offerings and marks yet another luxe foreign brand purchase. Last April, the company bought Britain’s Stoke Park estate for $79 million. In 2019, it acquired the struggling UK-based toy store chain Hamleys and is in the midst of turning it around.
Flush with funds after share sales and the recent $4 billion debt raise, Ambani, with a net worth of $93 billion, according to Forbes, is leading a transformation as he seeks to build consumer and telecom services into an equal-sized pillar for RIL, reducing dependence on earnings from its traditional energy business. Purchasing marquee global brands underscores that strategy.

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