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Unique Joint Venture Brings Together Kempinski's European
Experience with Anantara's Asian Experience


by Barry Napier

April 2008 - Kempinski hotel group, the oldest in Europe, has entered into a deal with Anantara.  Kempinski call it a “limited joint venture for strategic development opportunities in Europe and Asia.”

The two groups will pool their specific knowledge and skills for mutual benefit. Kempinski promises to identify new opportunities for development in Europe, and will share its higher management expertise, enabling Anantara to enter the European market with confidence.

Reciprocally, Anantara will share its knowledge and expertise of the Asian market, and pinpoint opportunities in Asia on behalf of Kempinski. This unique partnership should allow both groups to hit the ground running, with valuable localised expertise already operating.

The Anantara hotel and resort group built its first resort in Hua Hin, Thailand, constructed around a traditional Thai village. Local cooking courses, fruit-carving demonstrations, instruction in Muay Thai martial arts, and floating-market experiences, all added to the ‘Anantara Experience’.

They then built hotel resorts in the ‘Golden Triangle’ in northern Thailand, with the famed ‘Elephant Camp’, and on the southern Thai island of Samui. 2006 saw a new venture in the Maldives; and the group is spreading its brand over Asia and the Middle East. Its understanding and expertise in the Eastern Asian sector is now well founded.

Michael Sagild
CEO of Anantara

Reto Wittwer
President and CEO of Kempinski
Michael Sagild, CEO of Anantara, joined Minor International as Chief Operating Officer in 2006, and took Anantara along its present route of expansion. He was well prepared by 21 years management posts in top hotel companies, and is known in the industry as an innovator.

CEO of Anantara’s parent company, Minor International, William Heinecke, says “Partnering with Kempinski allows us to extend the synergies and development opportunities between (us).”

With Kempinski’s experience stretching back to 1897, Anantara will have immediate access to extensive expertise in the European luxury hotel market.  In anyone’s language that must be worth millions in terms of research and practice.

Reto Wittwer, President and CEO of Kempinski, is excited about this new partnership: “our limited joint venture with Anantara will allow (us) to further reinforce (our) presence in Asia.” He added “This joint venture represents a logical expansion of our existing good relationship with Anantara.”

Reo Wittwer joined Kempinski in 1995, with 30 years top-hotel experience under his belt. Like Sagild, he is a graduate of the prestigious Lausanne Hotel Management School. With such a strong duo of CEO’s, the venture should fly.

©April 2008, Barry Napier


Barry Napier
Hotel and Travel Journalist

Also See: Kempinski Hotels Grows to 92 Unique Hotels, Launches New Hotels in Russia, China and Central Europe / January 2007
Minor International PCL. Signs Starwood to Manage the St. Regis Hotel & Residences, Bangkok Opening in 2010 / July 2007


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