CAK okays sale of 680 Hotel, Crowne Plaza

Six Eighty Hotel Nairobi along Muindi Mbingu Street on July 28, 2022. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has approved the multi-billion shilling sale of two hotels in Nairobi in deals whose combined value is estimated above Sh5 billion.

The regulator gave the nod for the acquisition of the 680 Hotel in Nairobi’s city centre by the Machakos-based Maanzoni Lodges and Crowne Plaza Hotel by the Kasada Hospitality Group of Qatar.

The purchase of Crowne Plaza Hotel for an estimated Sh4.6 billion and Sh1.2 billion for 680 Hotel is the latest deal in the country’s hospitality as investors seek to tap into the anticipated economic recovery of the sector.

Maanzoni Lodges and Kasada Hospitality Group said they will not lay off workers of the two hotels, prompting the CAK to unconditionally approve the deals.

“The parties have submitted that the transaction will not negatively affect employment in the target, specifically noting that it will not lead to loss of existing jobs,” the CAK said in its decision on the deals.

Crowne Plaza Hotel and 680 Hotel are part of an elite list of an estimated 60 facilities, including Radisson Blu Hotel Nairobi, the Sarova Stanley, Villa Rosa Kempinski, and Sankara Nairobi that offer accommodation in East Africa’s biggest capital.

The acquisition of Crowne Plaza Hotel in Upper Hill marks the latest facility under the ownership of the Kasada Hospitality Group which is backed by the Qatar Investment Authority. Kasada has in the past 18 months acquired hotels in South Africa, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, and Cameroon. Crowne Plaza Hotel was opened in 2010 under the InterContinental Hotels Group.

The 680 Hotel is part of the Sentrim Hotel portfolio associated with billionaire Jagdesh Patel who had years ago disclosed plans to sell the facility. The facility located in the Nairobi city centre now joins the Maanzoni franchises that include the three-star lodge with 326 ensuite rooms located in Lukenya, Machakos County.

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