BY MELISHA YAFOI
Mineral Resources Development Company is seeking to sell half of the 80 hectares of freehold land it owns in Fiji to keep Pearl Resort afloat.
The director general of the MRDC, Augustine Mano, revealed this yesterday.
He said when the Pearl Resort was originally purchased, the asset came with a substantial amount of land. So they are now planning to sell half the land and will use the proceeds from that sale to pay down all of its debt.
Mr. Mano said the current land assets are sufficient to pay all of its liabilities, which also means that Pearl will be debt free.
“When the hotel is debt free, the money we use to pay interest and principal is what we will return to shareholders as cash flow or profit.
“That’s the strategy involved in trying to mitigate the risk with Pearl,” he said.
Mr Mano said he was approached by outside investors who offered nearly $80 million to buy Pearl, but shareholders were unwilling to sell.
“We told shareholders that they would realize a return on investment of nearly 40%, but they didn’t want that.
“So now we’re looking at a strategy to reduce debt and make it work,” he said.
Commenting on the Hilton Hotel investment in Port Moresby, Mr Mano said they were currently working on the second stage of the project and expected completion by November this year.
He said that for the Hilton investment, they are synergizing between the first and second stage to allow the cost to come down by 30% and the operators who will be involved in the construction of Papua LNG and P’nyang will use both facilities. the same time. in the next 8 years.
“We have all the blue chip companies asking to take up space, so the timing is perfect.
“The good thing about Hilton is that during the COVID period they never asked for shareholder input in terms of operations, that was sustainable on its own, so with the apartment.
The 220 apartments will change everything,” he said.
“We will have 220 apartments and we will have another 200 rooms, so it will be a great competition and having an international brand is key.
We are also considering getting another brand back to Pearl, most likely Hilton to operate Pearl Resort.