News

Check out market updates

Qatari fund buys Crowne Plaza Hotel for Sh4.6 billion

Qatari fund buys Crowne Plaza Hotel for Sh4.6 billion

A
Qatari-backed private equity fund has purchased the Crowne
Plaza Hotel
from tycoon Nazir Ahmed Akbarali for an estimated Sh4.6
billion, amid increased deal making in Kenya’s hotel sector.

The
hotel in Nairobi has been entirely acquired by Kasada Hospitality Fund, which
is sponsored by the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), the country’s sovereign
wealth fund.

Kasada’s
acquisitions in the continent have included hotels in Rwanda, South Africa,
Senegal, Cameroon, and Namibia over the last 18 months.

The
private equity company enters Kenya at a time when major hotels are either
closing or changing hands as the sector recovers from Covid-19 travel
restrictions.

According
to a transaction advisor who participated in the Crowne Plaza deal and talked
to the Business Daily on the condition of anonymity, the transaction is worth
Sh4.6 billion and has regulatory approval.

“Crowne
Plaza was sold but the owners have still not received the payment in full,”
said the advisor. “Plans to sell the hotel have been on the table since 2020.
The hotel was struggling with bank debts.”

ALSO READ: Machakos Billionaire Buys 680 Hotel In Nairobi

The
hotel, which debuted in Nairobi’s Upper Hill neighborhood in 2010, used the
Crowne Plaza brands from the InterContinental Hotels Group.

Later that year, Mr Akbarali erected
Crowne Plaza Annexe, a Sh1.1 billion mixed-use property that offers office
space and accommodation.     

The Crowne Plaza Annexe, a 15-story
building next to the hotel, targets business travelers as well as
companies looking for office space in Nairobi’s Upper Hill financial district.

According to regulatory filings
seen by the Business Daily, Crowne Plaza is held by Golden Jubilee Limited,
of whom tycoon Akbarali owns 97.5 percent and Anish Akbarali owns 2.5 percent.

The owners planned to sell the hotel
in early 2020, but the Covid-19 outbreak, which caused a travel slump, derailed
their plans.

Kenya’s tourist industry has begun to
recover from the effects of Covid-19, as local visitors take advantage of lower
pricing, while foreign visitor numbers remain much below pre-pandemic levels.

The sector, which is generally one of
the country’s main sources of foreign cash, is expected to generate Sh173
billion this year, up 18.5 percent from last. Earnings fell to Sh88.6 billion
as governments throughout the world limited people’s travel, notably by closing
airways, to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Last year, they returned to Sh146
billion, with the number of hotel nights occupied by Kenyan travelers tripling
within the same period.

Read
full story here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.