Talks for sale, expansion of Aggie Grey’s Beach Resort and Spa
The Government-owned Aggie Grey’s Beach Resort and Spa at Mulifanua could soon be sold and expanded, with discussions on a price-tag approaching $70 million tala, a member of the resort's board says.
The Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, who oversees the resort's major shareholder Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.), confirmed advanced discussions for a full or partial sale of the resort in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
Sili said discussions between the board of directors of the resort and a foreign investor "have reached a serious stage".
He said the Government would be open to a deal if "the price is right”.
The Minister was unable to confirm whether the hotel's asking price was $70 million tala. However, a board member confirmed in his discussions with this newspaper that this is the amount that has been discussed with prospective buyers.
The Aggie Grey’s Beach Resort and Spa was built on a 224 acres of tropical gardens in 2005 and was recently upgraded to 150 rooms with a golf course in 2015.
The Minister said a foreign investor is looking at expanding the hotel up to 400 rooms.
“But one thing is clear is that the land in which the hotel is erected on belongs to the S.N.P.F," he said.
“I am aware that there is an opportunity for us to look at another shareholder as there are talks about shareholders wanting to offload their shares.
"And it’s good if it’s going to help the S.N.P.F. recoup its investment."
The Samoa National Provident Fund owns 54 per cent shares in Aggie Grey’s Beach Resort and Spa, making them the largest shareholder. Their latest investment in the resort at Mulifanua was $34.2 million in 2018.
“The land was owned by the hotel and was used as a mortgage with the A.N.Z. bank and the N.P.F. has paid off that loan,” said Sili.
The Minister said once the board would approved any deal with the foreign investors, the Government is expected to be informed by the S.N.P.F.
The registered office address of the hotel since December 2016 is the S.N.P.F. main office in Apia.
The board members are Pepe Christian Fruean; Frederick Grey; David Katzin; Lealiie’e Rudi Ott; Silimana’i Ueta Banse Jr Solomona; Pauli Prince Suhren; Henry Westerlund and Masoe Norman Wetzell.
The other Sheraton Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalow was sold in 2017 to Leornard Cheng, Wanying He, and Qing Tian of New Zealand, and Xuzheng Liu of China.
The Government business directory also revealed that the Grey family ceased holding any shares in the hotel on August 21, 2017 which is the date the hotel's new owners took over.
The freehold land Lot 574 with 5648 square meters at Vaisigano, where the hotel is located, remains under the ownership of Aggie Grey's family.
Other shareholders are R.M. J Keil Enterprises L.T.D. 100,000; Motor Distributors Samoa Limited 111,525; Simokata Enterprises Limited 145,094; Federal Pacific Finance Limited 111,525; Aggie Grey’s Hotel Limited 237,986; Samoa Airport Authority 2,500,000; David Katzin 4,341,833; Leali’ie Rudi Ott 2,154,746; Henry Westerlund 1,000,000; Robert De Courteney 500,000; Roy Lee 500,000; KVA Consultanty Limited 740,875; Digicel (Samoa) Limited 7,755,754; OSM Investments Limited 169,129; Computer Services Limited 144,292; Parliamentary Pension Scheme 680,272; Nisa Limited 139,589 and other shares to be determined by the board 751,546.