A new $300 million fund targeting Thailand hospitality investments has been launched by Thailand's wealthiest family, the Chirathivats. The first investment will be in a low-rise apartment building in Phuket with a price tag of $360 million. Sansiri will co-invest in the project and is a top luxury property developer in Thailand having been founded in 1984 and developed over 318 projects comprising 86,070 housing units across seventeen provinces.
Thailand's wealthiest family, the Chirathivats, have launched a 10 billion baht (i.e., $300 million) private equity fund focused on the hotel and real estate industry. This is surprising to some given that the Chirathivat family is known for their dominance in Thailand's retail landscape through its Central Retail Corporation ("CRC") vehicle.
The Chirathivat family business dates back to the early 20th century when Tiang Chirathivat, a Chinese immigrant, started a rice trading business in Bangkok. A son later expanded the business into wholesale and distribution, laying the foundation for a retail empire that includes hundreds of department stores, shopping malls, and supermarkets across Thailand and Vietnam. Central Pattana, the retail development company, owns and manages 37 shopping malls, 7 office buildings, 3 hotels, and 4 residential buildings.
Phoom Chirathivat is leading the diversification into hospitality which plays directly into Thailand's vibrant tourism sector. In 2022, Thailand was a top 10 most visited country in the world, and Bangkok was the 3rd most visited city trailing only Paris and Dubai. Phoom holds a Bachelor's degree from Tufts University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
The Standard Residences Phuket Bangtao, will serve as a litmus test for their ambitions as the fund's first investment. The luxury condo development aims to tap into the growing demand for high-end accommodation in Phuket, a premier tourist destination. The project was announced in July 2023 with Sansiri PLC also serving as an investor. Construction on the 12 billion baht (i.e., $360 million) 222 residential unit building is expected to begin Q1 2024 and conclude in 2026.