Spanish firm to buy Ananda Krishnan’s resort for RM1 billion

Billionaire Ananda Krishnan’s Tanjong Plc will sell the Tropical Islands Resort in Germany for €226 million (RM1 billion) to Madrid-based entertainment park operator Parques Reunidos. (Bloomberg pic)

HONG KONG: Parques Reunidos Servicios Centrales SA, the Madrid-based entertainment park operator, has agreed to buy a tropical-themed resort in Germany for €226 million (RM1 billion).

The Spanish firm reached an agreement with a holding company of Malaysian billionaire T Ananda Krishnan to acquire Tropical Islands Resort, according to a Tuesday filing, confirming a Bloomberg News story.

The deal is expected to be completed by February, the filing shows.

Tropical Islands Resort, located about 60km (37 miles) south of Berlin, was built in a former airship hangar and opened for business in 2004, its website shows.

Attractions include the world’s largest indoor rainforest, palm tree-lined artificial beaches, a water park featuring a “Whitewater River,” a spa complex and a miniature golf course.

Tanjong Plc, a holding company for some of Krishnan’s leisure and property investments, owns a controlling stake in the resort, while business partner Colin Au holds the remainder.

Krishnan, Malaysia’s fifth richest person, has been shifting his focus to domestic investments after Aircel Ltd, an Indian wireless operator he controls, filed for bankruptcy protection this year.

Parques Reunidos is adding another tranche to its existing credit facilities to finance the purchase, according to the filing. The deal is pending clearance from German competition authorities and other regulatory approvals.

The acquirer operates more than 60 properties including theme parks, zoos and indoor entertainment centres in 14 countries across Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia, its website shows.

It was the most active acquirer of individual leisure parks in Europe and the US over the last eight years, according to the website.