MerchantBridge Seals US$20 Million Hospitality Deal With Monaco Luxury

Published August 10th, 2010 - 08:46 GMT

MerchantBridge, the direct investment and private equity company, signed and agreed terms 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 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,
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
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

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

Mr. Basil Al-Rahim, MerchantBridge Group Chief Executive
Officer, said today: "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
future supply/demand gaps." 

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