State eyes fresh buyers of stakes in Hilton, InterCon

InterContinental Hotel. FILE PHOTO | NMG
InterContinental Hotel. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The government has restarted the sale of its stakes in tourist hotels including Hilton, InterContinental and Mountain Lodge.

The Privatisation Commission is seeking consultants to carry out due diligence on the hotels and six other smaller units to prepare them for sale.

The commission did not say how much it expects to raise.

The consultants will be expected to establish the financial health of the hotels as well as prepare contracts including share transfer agreements.

The sales were first announced in 2011 as part of a plan to improve the State’s finances and to transfer the running of businesses to the private sector.

The government has large shareholdings in a number of firms in several sectors and plans to retain stakes in strategic assets such as energy and telecoms. The government stakes in large hotels, including a 40.57 per cent shareholding in International Hotels Kenya Limited, which owns the Hilton Hotel.

It will offload a 33.83 per cent stake in Kenya Hotel Properties Limited, which runs the InterContinental Hotel, and a 39.11 per cent shareholding in Mountain Lodge, which operates under the TPS Serena brand. The commission has previously said the hotel sales would be through negotiations involving pre-emptive rights, which gives other shareholders in the hotels the first chance to buy the state stake.

The State owns shares in the three luxury hotels through the Kenya Tourist Development Corporation.

It has direct ownership in the other six mid-tier hotels including Kisumu’s Sunset Hotel, Golf Hotel in Kakamega, Kenya Safari Lodges, Mount Elgon Lodge, Kabarnet Hotel and Ark Limited.