More about Kempinski - November 21, 2003
We received 10 emails asking if there was a mistake in an article
to yesterday stating "Kempinski... is today owned by the
Crown Property Bureau of Thailand."
No mistake. In 1996, Dusit
Thani Hotel Group bought the Kempinski hotel chain for $165 million
along with Siam Sindhorn investment group. One of Siam Sindhorn's
major owners is the Crown Property Bureau. At the time, such an acquisition
was viewed with great pride as Thai companies were moving out of Thai
markets and wheeling and dealing internationally.
Unfortunately Dusit was sliding to the bottom of a dire profit slump
and in 1997 Dusit sold its share of Kempinski to Siam Sindhorn Co
Ltd. Thus today the chain is controlled by the Crown Property Bureau.
Others were wondering if they had heard another entity was supposed
to have won the hotel rights. No, what they are thinking about is
the construction contract. Natural Park land will build the hotel
Park lands Siam Paragon hotel, November 6, 2003) while Kempinski
will operate it (Kempinski
tipped to run new hotel - The Nation, November 5, 2003). More
on the Paragon and the
BTW: This reminds of an amusing incident in the past of the
subway construction. Immediately after the Dusit profit slump in 1996,
the owners of Dusit went on Quixotic crusade to reroute the billion
dollar subway system so their parking garage would not be closed down.
It was notable for the various threats Dusit made to thrown their
considerable weight around to get their way.
Bangkok's venerable Dusit Thani close?, AsiaWeek: ...Chanut
may have a trump card: allegations that the contract cost was inflated
by bribes, commonplace in Thai public projects. "There are questions
over this that I don't want foreigners to know -- I am proud of being
Thai," says Chanut. But even if she names names, it may not be
enough to save her famous hotel.
In the end, the station and route was built and today the Dusit has
more prime location with subway entrances just a few meters from
their front doors.
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