Qatar backed fund buys Safari Hotels

Staff Writer

Kasada Capital Management, a fund backed by the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar, and French hospitality group, Accor, has announced its acquisition of the Safari Hotels and Conference Centre in Windhoek for an undisclosed amount.

The transaction, which is still subject to approval by the Namibian Competition Commission, will be made through Kasada Hospitality Fund LP. The acquisition comes as the 55-year-old, 414 room hotel and conference venue, has been on the market after a failed 2018 bid by United Africa Group to acquire JH Hamman Beherende Beleggings, the holding company of the property.

United Africa Group is the largest hotel group in Namibia with interests in the Windhoek Hilton Hotel and Protea Hotels across the country. In the announced deal, the Safari Hotel, which comprises of the Safari Court, a 4-star hotel, The Hotel Safari, a 3-star hotel; and The Safari Conference Centre, will be rebranded to Mövenpick, a Swiss hotel management company headquartered in Baar, Switzerland, and owned by AccorHotels.

Kasanda has also announced that it will be investing over N$100 million (US$8million) in renovations of the property, which has hosted big events such as the 38th SADC Heads of States and Government summit. “Kasada will rebrand the hotels utilising the management skills, expertise and marketing resources available from its strategic partnership with Accor and its portfolio of renowned international hotel brands. The Safari Court Hotel will be converted to Mövenpick, and the Safari Hotel will become an ibis Styles. By investing over N$100m (US$8m) in this refurbishment, Kasada will further improve the existing conference facilities, which are a hub for local, regional, and international events in Namibia, creating a go-to destination for both business and leisure guests,” the fund said.

Olivier Granet, Managing Partner and CEO, Kasada, said “this transaction is aligned with Kasada’s strategy of bringing our capital and expertise to the management of existing properties in key locations in Sub-Saharan Africa. We look forward to bringing our international hospitality know-how to Namibia’s leading hotel complexes, heralding a new chapter in its storied history with the incorporation of ESG and international best practices, and the creation of 150 jobs.”

David Damiba, Managing Partner and CIO, Kasada, said “this transaction underscores our continued belief in the resilience and long-term prospects of the sector in Namibia, and is aligned with the Government’s FDI initiatives. It also highlights our ability to structure bespoke liquidity solutions for asset owners in difficult market conditions across all of Sub-Saharan Africa at a much-needed time in this cycle.”

The Namibian transection, is the second major transaction for Kasada, which continues to build its Sub-Saharan hospitality portfolio, armed with equity commitments of over US$500 million.

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