More About Kempinski Ownership

More about Kempinski - November 21, 2003
We received 10 emails asking if there was a mistake in an article linked 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 (Natural 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
Siam Intercontinental Hotel

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.
Will 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 an even more prime location with subway entrances just a few meters from their front doors.

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