One of Singapore's wealthiest businessmen has secured official consent to buy Hilton Auckland and revealed plans to expand operations at the Princes Wharf property.

Interests associated with M&L's Michael Kum got Overseas Investment Office approval after saying it would retain jobs and increase export receipts with the purchase, thought to be worth about $40 million.

Kum indicated he wanted the hotel to become more prominent, have more guests and said he would apply his expertise to the business.

Kum's Ambrosia Land and Ewart NZ Management (No 2) is buying the hotel from domestic interests Direct Property Investments (No 6), Princes Wharf Hotel, Quay Street Leases and Asteron Trust Services. The hotel sits on a 1.4ha leasehold site and the amount Kum is paying is allowed to stay secret, under special provisions in the Overseas Investment Act 2005 which allow parties to suppress prices.


Forbes lists Kum, 67, as Singapore's 26th richest man with his fortune put at US$670 million ($809 million).