An investment firm headed by Hungarian-born billionaire George Soros has reportedly agreed to invest $300 million to finance an Argentine hotel company’s expansion in Latin America.
Soros’ investment will provide funding for as many as 5,000 new hotel room over a three-year period in Argentina and other South American countries including Chile, Ecuador and Peru that Buenos Aires-based Fen Hotels will manage.
Patricio Fuks, chief executive of Fen Hotels, told the Wall Street Journalthat “you can still build for a reasonable price in Latin America’s capital cities.”
Fen Hotels already has 35 hotels in Latin America, making it a major operator in a markets where competitors ten to be family-owned and family-operated businesses, and hotels that bear leading global brands are scarce.
Fen Hotels also is establishing a foothold in the U.S. hotel market with properties in Miami and Los Angeles and a Brooklyn property operating under its Dazzler brand.
But Fuks told the Journal he sees better potential for his company in South American countries, with the exception of Brazil, the most populous country in region: “Brazil is too expensive to develop there. But if it turns around, the other countries will follow.”
This news comes after Bloomberg reported that Soros is buying a stake in Ukrainian software developer Ciklum Holding Ltd. after committing to invest as much as $1 billion to help the country’s economy earlier this year.
The Ukrainian Redevelopment Fund, advised by Soros Fund Management LLC, agreed to buy an undisclosed stake in Ciklum from Danish founder Torben Majgaard and private-equity fund Horizon Capital, according to a statement Wednesday. Horizon was co-founded by Ukrainian Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko.
"It’s an investment in what I call the ‘New Ukraine’ – Ukrainians who are young, well educated, and eager for their country to break from the past and to build an open society," Soros said in the statement.
Ciklum employs more than 2,500 programmers in Ukraine and other countries. Like U.S.-traded EPAM Systems Inc. and Luxoft Holding Inc., the company’s business model is betting on cheaper engineering talent from Central and Eastern Europe to develop software for the U.S. and Western Europe.
(Newsmax wires contributed to this report).
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