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The High Court of Singapore Finds Starwood Hotels Guilty
of Breach of Contract with Asia Hotel Investments
December 2, 2003 - The High Court of Singapore today handed down a guilty verdict against Starwood Hotels for breach of a non-circumvention agreement on a Bangkok hotel with Asia Hotel Investments.

The breach was with regards to an agreement signed between Asia Hotel Investments and Starwood in connection with Asia Hotel’s proposed purchase of a majority stake in Grand Pacific Hotel in Bangkok, now known as Westin Grande Sukhumvit.
 

Asia Hotel had signed an agreement to purchase the hotel and have it managed by Starwood. Under the terms of the agreement, Starwood bound itself for a period of 12 months not to deal with or enter into any management contract with owners of the hotel.

The agreement was set to expire on November 9, 2002. However, on May 15, 2002, Starwood signed a management agreement with a potential buyer who is a Starwood hotel owner. This was clearly in breach of its existing agreement with Asia Hotel.
 


The Westin Grande Sukhumvit Hotel
 (formerly the Grand Pacific Hotel)
 259 Sukhumvit Road  
Bangkok  10110  Thailand 
Gary Murray, President of Asia Hotel said: “We are happy that the court has ruled in favour of Asia Hotel and found Starwood guilty. Taking Starwood to court was a last resort for us and the first time that we have been driven to do so with a hotel management partner.

“In fact, we have an excellent relationship with all our partners which includes Hilton International and other international operators.  We had hoped to develop similar win-win situations with Starwood that would be long term and mutually beneficial.

“As a hotel investor we take risks everyday but we had never expected that it would turn out this way especially with a large international and public-listed company like Starwood. It has been very disappointing.”

Moving forward, Asia Hotel is focusing its attention on current developments and to expanding its hotel and resort business beyond Thailand to include the Philippines and other resort markets in South-east Asia.  Its golf course business has also seen rapid growth and Asia Hotel expects to begin work on several large real estate leisure development projects around its Muang Kaew and Sriracha golf clubs soon, according to Mr Murray.

After a multi-million-dollar renovation in 2002/03, Muang Kaew has now been rated #1 in Bangkok and #2 in all of Thailand by the Thai Golfers Association.  The Sriracha Golf Club is currently being renovated and will be positioned as one of the top golf clubs in the Pattaya area.   The firm is also developing a trendy chic New York style hotel in downtown Bangkok which is expected to open at the end of 2004.  

Asia Hotel Investments is in the business of investing in four- and five-star hotels and golf courses in Southeast Asia. The Company identifies suitable hotels, secures majority control and puts together a program to renovate, re-brand, reposition and secure professional management.

Asia Hotel and its principals have completed hotel development and investment transactions with Marriott International, Hilton Hotel Corporation, Hilton International PLC, and Holiday Inn.  It owns the Hilton Hua Hin Resort & Spa which it purchased in 2000, renovated and rebranded as a five-star hotel.  Through its subsidiary Siam Golf Properties Co Ltd, Asia Hotel also owns and manages the Muang Kaew Golf Club in Bangkok and Country Club and Sriracha International Golf Club in Pattaya.  

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Contact:
Asia Hotel Investments Ltd.
Bentley Porter Novelli
Ms Trupti Wagh
Tel: (65) 6539 9293
Trupti.wagh@porternovelli.com
Also See: Grand Pacific Hotel in Bangkok to Be Managed by Starwood and Rebranded as the Westin Grande Sukhumvit / July 2002
Grande Asset Development Co Ltd Developing 400 room Crowne Plaza Sukhumvit Bangkok; 2006 Opening / Aug 2003


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