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|| MerchantBridge invests $20 million in Monaco Luxury Hotels & Resorts

MerchantBridge-MLH&R.jpgMerchantBridge, the private equity firm backed by GCC family offices, has agreed to invest in Monaco Luxury Hotels & Resorts (MLH&R) in a $20 million transaction.

This is the second investment by MerchantBridge this year, following its successful acquisition of the 15-year lease of the Kerbala Cement Plant in Iraq. MerchantBridge has completed 9 private equity transactions in North America, Europe, and the Middle East over the past 5 years. MLH&R was founded in 2006 by the Torriani family as a hotel management company with a core emphasis on the niche market of luxury hotels in the 4 star boutique and 5 star deluxe categories.

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More details from their release follows

MerchantBridge, the direct investment and private equity company, signed and agreed terms to invest in Monaco Luxury Hotels & Resorts (MLH&R) in a $20m transaction.

This is the second investment by MerchantBridge this year, following its successful acquisition of the 15-year lease of the Kerbala Cement Plant in conjunction with Lafarge and further showing the firm's ability to take advantage of attractive market opportunities in both the Middle East and the West.

MerchantBridge has completed 9 private equity transactions in North America, Europe, and the Middle East over the past 5 years. Over the years, MerchantBridge has formed a number of joint ventures or partnerships on specific transactions with leading regional groups such as Marriott, Qtel, Lafarge, Macquarie and Qatar National Bank.

MLH&R was founded in 2006 by the Torriani family as a hotel management company with a core emphasis on the niche market of luxury hotels in the 4 star boutique and 5 star deluxe categories. As part of its portfolio MHL&R is a major investor in the Ritz Carlton Montreal.

MLH&R is currently working on a substantial CAD $150m renovation of the Ritz Carlton Montreal hotel.

The Ritz Carlton Montreal is a historic landmark in the city of Montreal which enjoys full political and local support. As part of the renovation, hotel rooms will be reduced from 229 to 130 rooms with significant refurbishment, and construction of 46 new condos branded 'Ritz Carlton Residences'.

MerchantBridge proudly adds this deal to their hospitality track record, following the successful development and sale of the 120-room Diyafa Hotel in Al-Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia back in 2006, with Marriott Courtyard.

Mr. Basil Al-Rahim, MerchantBridge Group Chief Executive Officer, said:

"Investments in the hospitality sector today are ideal for investors, as the real estate market still represents significant opportunities. We continue to look for more promising deals. MerchantBridge is also exploring other opportunities in hospitality in Europe and are in talks with some of the major hotel groups globally."

Mr. Ameen Killidar, MerchantBridge Managing Director, added, "The luxury hospitality sector is in need for further investment. In Europe and North America, the number of new luxury hotels built decreased by more than 20% in the first half of 2010, when compared with the same period in 2008. At the same time, occupancy rates at luxury hotels in Europe and North America increased by an average of 12%. We see this as an ideal opportunity for us, where we can see long-term value being created through addressing current and future supply/demand gaps."



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