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The Austrian hospitality group Vienna House purchased by Thai real estate champions

The Thai property developer U City PCL, a listed company whose main shareholder is a Thai billionaire at the root of Bangkok's subway, has finalized the purchase of the Austrian group Vienna International Hotelmanagement AG. The operation amounts to about €335 million and includes the group itself as well as the property of several hotels that the group already operated.

It is now official: the Austrian hospitality group Vienna House - in France, famously operating Disneyland Paris' Vienna hotels - has been taken over by the Thai group U City, one of the main listed property companies in the country. Its subsidiary Vienna House has indeed become the sole shareholder of Vienna House Hotelmanagement AG since it acquired its entire equity stake.

U City's main shareholder (35.6%), BTS Group, Bangkok metro operator and one of the most influencial actor of Thai property development - with a market capitalisation amounting to €2.7 bn - is headed by its Chairman Keeree Kanjanapas, Thailand's 13th wealth holder, and his son Kavin Kanjanapas, CEO.

The operation amounted to €335 million and includes the purchase of all the group's shares, as well as the andel's by Vienna House Cracow operating company, and properties of 7 hotels already operated by the group but owned by Warimpex and UBM (Vienna House Amber Baltic Miedzyzdroje, andel’s by Vienna House Lodz, angelo by Vienna House Katowice, Vienna House Easy Chopin Cracow, Vienna House Diplomat Prague, angelo by Vienna House Pilsen and angelo by Vienna House Bucharest).

The management board remains the same, headed by Rupert Simoner, CEO, Vienna House. However, he will refer to a new supervisory board, made up Ann Piyaporn Phanachet (Chairwoman and U City CEO), John Westoby (Vice Chairman and U City Hospitality Director), Jonathan Wigley (Member of the Board and AHS Hotels CEO) and Sayam Siwarapornskul (BTSG Chief Legal Officer). 

"The deal will strengthen the capital structure of Vienna House to secure further investments in international growth," Rupert Simoner stated. "That means that our strategy will focus on growth through management and lease agreements but also through suitable purchases of individual properties or entire portfolios."

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