17 Jan 2017

The Straits Times

By Rachael Boon

Luxury nightlife and dining establishment Ce La Vi, which sits atop Marina Bay Sands, is taking its brand of glitz to breathtaking heights in other cities.

It is expanding later this year to Kuala Lumpur, where it will overlook Petronas Towers, and Taipei and Dubai next year.

Mr Ravi Thakran, chairman and managing partner of L Catterton Asia, which has a controlling stake in it, told The Straits Times: “Ce La Vi is one of our signature companies in the portfolio and is now starting to accelerate its position and global expansion in a big way.”

He is particularly proud of the upcoming Ce La Vi in Dubai, which will be on the rooftop of The Address Sky View Dubai Hotel in the downtown area, describing it as a double “wow” venue in “the heart of Dubai, where the bulk of activity in retail, fashion, music and food and beverage is centred”.

“This puts the asset into a new league altogether. We’re also in discussion with major players in Shanghai and Chongqing (in China). Chongqing is building a phenomenal project which almost looks like Gotham City, with five buildings and a major rooftop location,” said Mr Thakran, referring to the city setting of the Batman comic series.

He also said that talks to open are going on in London and Paris, “where we might have an opportunity with some of our own group locations”. L Catterton Asia has also built up Ce La Vi’s leadership team to strengthen the brand.

“We’ve brought international talent from Las Vegas, New York and London, we’ve renovated the restaurant, and all the designs are meant to wow people.”

The dust also seems to have finally settled for Ce La Vi, which was beset by trademark and other legal issues, and had to be renamed from KuDeTa in June 2015.

The Straits Times understands that those matters have been resolved, which has cleared the way for Ce La Vi to expand much faster across the globe.

While he did not comment directly on Ce La Vi’s past issues, Mr Thakran noted: “Even some of the assets, where we had some issues – I always maintain that any company you take will have issues – but we stay the course and our job is to add value and build the companies.

“Now we’ve complete control of this company, we certainly are looking to driving it with gusto and building something spectacular.”

Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission