Dilith buys controlling 20% stake in Liberty Plaza owning firm for Rs. 835 m

Saturday, 21 May 2011 00:47 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Fast turning to be a high net worth investor, Dilith Jayaweera of Triad and Emagewise fame yesterday bought a controlling 20% stake in Colombo Land and Development, the owning company of Liberty Plaza, among other assets for over Rs. 800 million.

In a total 41.5 million shares accounting for 21.2% stake of Colombo Land traded for Rs. 835 million. Dilith via Citrus Leisure parent Emagewise and  subsidiary Kalpitiya Resorts had bought bulk of the shares traded with large blocks at Rs. 20 per share.

Colombo Land closed at Rs. 20.10, down by Rs. 3 though it hit an intra-day high of Rs. 23.60. Dilith bought the stake from Singapore based founder investors, which saw overall net outflow of Rs. 928 million yesterday.

The Singapore investors via related parties collectively held around 40% stake but with yesterday’s part sale Dilith or Waskaduwa/Citrus has become the single largest shareholder in Colombo Land. Urban Development Authority owns 17.45% stake.

Dilith was unavailable for comment but analysts said the investment was strategic. A few weeks ago Citrus Leisure also picked up some stakes in Aitken Spence Hotel Holdings. Apart from deals on Colombo Land which accounted for the highest turnover thereby boosting the market’s overall figure to Rs. 3.15 billion, Colombo Bourse’s price indices dipped marginally due to profit taking.


After the bull run on Thursday, a degree of profit taking saw the market dip yesterday though closing the week on the up. The ASI yesterday dipped by 0.1% and MPI by 0.2%.

“The indices dipped on selling pressure with turnover being driven by foreign sales on Colombo Land,” John Keells Stock Brokers said.

“The indices ended in negative, paring gains earlier during the day, correcting the overreaction to extended deadlines on debt clearance. ASPI and MPI gained 2.18% and 1.63% respectively for the week,” NDB Stockbrokers said.

“The positive momentum may continue next week in view of the extension of debtor deadlines,” it added.

The Bank, Finance & Insurance sector also contributed significantly to the market turnover (due to Ceylon Guardian and Nation Lanka) with the sector index climbing 0.02%.