S.N.P.F. buys Mulifanua resort land for $34 million
The Samoa National Provident Fund (S.N.P.F.) has purchased 224 acres of land on which the Sheraton Samoa Mulifanua Beach Resort is built in a $34 million deal.
The S.N.P.F.'s Chief Executive Officer, Pauli Prince Suhren, confirmed the deal in an interview with the Samoa Observer.
“The S.N.P.F. now owns all of that freehold land where the Resort is located, purchased at that price and guaranteeing that our members reap and enjoy all the benefits of ownership of that strategic national asset in the foreseeable future,” explained Pauli.
The Sheraton Mulifanua Beach Resort and Spa was built on 224 acres of tropical gardens in 2005 and was upgraded to 150 rooms with a golf course in 2015.
The land on which the resort was built had belonged to the Samoa Trust Estates Corporation and the Samoa Airport Authority.
The S.N.P.F. Chairman, Leasiosiofaasisina Oscar Malielegaoi, said the purchase was made in the best interest of S.N.P.F. both as a shareholder of the property but also as a body that had the national interest at heart.
“This particular land the S.N.P.F. usually takes over the shares from previous owners and prior to the new arrangement where the shares were bought out; there were obligations [from] the hotel to certain banks," he said.
“So this means, there is no security."
He said that in a hypothetical situation in which the banks were to foreclose and want to do so, they could sell because they retain the rights to the land.
“The S.N.P.F. had to act knowing the land belongs to the Government and it was important had to secure the land. It is better to secure the land under the S.N.P.F. which belongs to the contributors," the C.E.O. said.
He said the decision follows much consideration in which the board took into account the fact that the parcel is prime land; and close to the new international airport.
“This decision was also aligned with our strategic plans to showcase Samoa as one of the best destinations in the Pacific; unfortunately with the measles and now COVID 19, those plans have been delayed," he said.
“There are many grand plans to reposition the hotel and look for more investors that can purchase the asset.at the same time as the land belongs to the S.N.P.F.: the land and the property."
According to the Ministry of Commerce Industry and Labor documents, the S.N.P.F. owns 54 per cent shares in the resort making them the majority shareholders.
The board members for the Mulifanua Beach Resort Samoa Limited are Pepe Christian Fruean; David Katzin; Lealiie’e Rudi Ott; Silimana’i Ueta Banse Jr Solomona; Pauli Prince Suhren; Henry Westerlund; and Masoe Norman Wetzell.
Company filings show that the company is divided into more than 51.6 million shares.
Documents filed with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Labour list the company's shareholders and shareholdings as follows: R.M. J Keil Enterprises (100,000); Motor Distributors Samoa Limited (111,525); Simokata Enterprises Limited (145,094); Federal Pacific Finance Limited (111,525); Aggie Grey’s Hotel Limited (2,379,865); 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 to the value of 751,546.