The controlling shareholder of Hotel Services is Mr. Umar Kumar Sharma who held over 90% of the company.
Brokers said that parties connected with Mr. Nahil Wijesuriya, the well known Colombo businessman, were the buyers and there were reports that the purchase was associated with a Singapore incorporated investment vehicle.
The Hotel Services trade was done at a Rs.138 price with the counter trading yesterday between a low of Rs.138 and a high of Rs.143.Sharma owned 97.3% of the company while another 0.7% was registered in the name of S.R. Sharma.
The seller bought his stake of the owning company of the country’s first five-star hotel, whose management was franchised to the Intercontinental Hotels Corporation, at Rs.26 a share in 1996. He has thus made a substantial capital gain.
There was no word on whether Sharma would retain a minority stake in the owning company of the hotel which was run by him without a franchise operator.Yesterday’s Hotel Services deal netted slightly over Rs.1.3 billion of the Rs.1.37 billion total turnover. Both indices were down during the day, the All Share by 10.77 points (0.41%) and the Milanka by 19.15 points (0.58%).
"The rest of the business was very small," Prashan Fernando of the DFCC Stockbrokers said.With the holiday feeling setting in liquidity of SLT which had recently dominated the market was low yesterday with just 0.1 million shares done between Rs.48.75 and Rs.49. The counter dropped 25 cents to close at Rs.48.75.