Orascom Development Wins Approval for Swiss Andermatt Ski Area Takeover
Published Monday, 16 July 2012 10:37 | Written by Amwal Al Ghad
The Andermatt Swiss Alps project owned by Egyptian-controlled listed Swiss company Orascom Development Holding (ODHN:CA) has won majority acceptance of its takeover bid from shareholders in two management firms of adjacent ski areas, removing what Orascom saw as a major obstacle to the success of its luxury resort development.
Orascom gave no price details but said the move has cleared the way to invest CHF 130 million ($132.13 million) to update and modernize facilities. The takeover of the firms - Andermatt Gotthard Sportbahnen and Sedrun Bergbahnen - will be made via Andermatt-Surselva Sport AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Andermatt Swiss Alps AG which, in turn, is owned by Orascom. After more than two-thirds of the target firm shareholders agreed to the offer, the deadline has been extended by three weeks until 3 August for others to tender voluntarily.
"This represents an important step towards the realization of the cutting-edge Andermatt-Sedrun ski area," said Orascom in a statement. Added Samih Sawiris, chairman of Orascom Development Holding: “We are naturally very pleased about the exceptionally positive response to our takeover offer.”
Following the final vote, Andermatt-Surselva Sport plans to invest in connecting, modernising and expanding the two Andermatt and Sedrun ski areas to form over 130 km of trails. Important components are replacement of outdated ski lifts, connection of Andermatt and Sedrun ski areas through new lifts and trails, as well as snowmaking equipment to ensure uninterrupted operation throughout the winter season. New restaurants and summer season attractions are also planned area. Construction is planned to commence in 2013.
Andermatt Swiss Alps is currently being developed as an integrated year-round holiday destination designed to include six 4 and 5-star hotels, 490 apartments in 42 buildings, around 25 villas, 35,000 sq.m. of commercial space, a sports and recreation centre, a convention facility for 600 guests and an 18-hole golf course.
Orascom develops fully-integrated towns that offer hotels, private villas and apartments, leisure facilities and supporting infrastructure, and is present in Egypt, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Switzerland, Morocco, Montenegro, UK and Romania. It manages operating resorts in El Gouna on the Red Sea Coast in Egypt, Taba Heights in the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, The Cove in Ras Al Khaimah in the U.A.E. Haram City, a budget housing town on the outskirts of Cairo and Jebel Sifah as well as Salalah Beach, Oman.
Aside from Andermatt, the Group has eight destinations under development including Amoun Island, Fayoum, Makadi Bay and Qena Gardens in Egypt; Chbika in Morocco, Lustica Development in Montenegro and Eco-Bos in the United Kingdom.
Three more are in the pipeline: As Sodah Island and City Walk in Oman and Constantia in Romania so that Orascom operates a total of 28 hotels with 6,589 rooms and controls a land bank of approximately 116.2m sq.m. Sawiris, scion of one of the most influential Egyptian business dynasties, moved Orascom headquarters to the village of Altdorf in Switzerland in 2008.
Source: Property Investor Europe Magazine