June 19, 2013 / 10:02 AM / 6 years ago

Sri Lanka's Keells to sign $640 mln hotel deal next week-sources

COLOMBO, June 19 (Reuters) - Sri Lanka’s top conglomerate, John Keells Holdings, will sign a $640 million deal to establish an integrated hotel complex in the capital of Colombo, three sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Keells, the heavyweight of the $18.5 billion Colombo Stock Exchange with a $1.77 billion market cap, will sign the deal with a company from outside the country, the sources who have the direct knowledge on the deal told Reuters.

“This will be the biggest deal by a local company. John Keells will bring $640 million as foreign direct investment. The deal will be signed next week,” one source said.

Investment Promotion Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, without naming the company, said the government will sign a $640 million agreement next week with a local company for a 500-room hotel complex with apartments, supermarkets, and restaurants.

Ajith Gunawardena, the deputy chairman at John Keells Holdings, told Reuters that the project is in progress, but declined to comment on the size of the project and if the company would sign the deal next week.

($1 = 128.5500 Sri Lanka rupees)

Reporting by Shihar Aneez and Ranga Sirilal; Editing by Matt Driskill

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