Minor puts full force behind Oaks

Minor puts full force behind Oaks
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Minor International has dismissed rumours it is eyeing Mantra Hotels and Resorts, revealing it will focus instead on the expansion of its Oaks brand, acquired last year.

Chief executive Dilip Rajakarier told Travel Today the firm was “quite happy” with its future plans for the Oaks brand and was not exploring a Mantra acquisition.

“Oaks’ EBITDA is almost the same as Mantra’s, although they are more than three times our size,” he said. “In five years’ time, we are confident that Oaks will be in a better financial position than Mantra.”

The firm is currently in the process of expanding Oaks beyond Australia to make it a “true international brand”. Thailand will be the first location in around two months, with the Middle East and China also being considered.

Rajakarier said the brand would be “tailormade” for each new market, with concierge and food outlets to be added due to lower labour costs outside Australia.

Expansion into the mining regions of Australia is also on the cards. Minor has purchased a property in Gladstone which is undergoing work and will open with 145 rooms in 2013.

“The labour is quite expensive so there will be a slightly high cost per key between $300 and $400,” he admitted.

The firm has also signed management deals with Cable Beach Sanctuary in Broome and Mon Komo Apartments in Redcliffe, with a similar deal likely to be struck with a Sydney property in the coming months.

It is also eyeing four or five management opportunities in mining areas, Rajakarier revealed.

Meanwhile, its Anantara and Avani brands are gearing up to enter the Australian market, although Rajakarier stressed it was “early days”.

The fast-growing Anantara portfolio will number 22 properties by the end of the year, with Minor targeting 50 within the next five years.

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