QIA-backed Kasada buys Rwanda hotel in fifth deal

 QIA-backed Kasada buys Rwanda hotel in fifth deal

Kasada Capital Management, a private equity firm that focuses on the hospitality sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, has struck the fifth deal from its maiden fund.

Kasada said it is acquiring the Umubano Hotel, located in Kacyiru, Kigali, Rwanda, and will rebrand and redevelop the property into a 100-key Mövenpick hotel. The new Mövenpick hotel is set to open to the public in 2025.

Olivier Granet, Kasada’s Managing Partner and CEO, said: “Rwanda is a fast-growing international destination that we consider to be among the most promising for our investment platform.”

David Damiba, Kasada’s Managing Partner and CIO, added: “Kasada is looking forward to deploy its capital and financial expertise to contribute to the FDI flows in Rwanda. This transaction exemplifies Kasada’s ability to transact with private and sovereign owners across the continent.”

Umubano Hotel has changed hands and banners several times in the past. Five years ago, Ugandan conglomerate Madhvani Group had acquired the property to redevelop it. The property was shut down in 2019, and was scheduled to launch in 2020.

It is not clear when Madhvani Group sold the venture to the government of Rwanda. Two years ago, when the Covid-19 pandemic rocked the hospitality industry, the government had again invited buyers to take over the property.

For Kasada, this deal comes even as it is in the process of entering the largest economy in the continent, Nigeria.

Kasada has also signed an agreement with Southern Sun Africa, a subsidiary of Tsogo Sun Hotels, to buy its entire 75.55% stake in Ikoyi Hotels Ltd for $30.4 million.

The new transaction adds to Kasada’s asset acquisitions in South Africa, Namibia, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Cameroon over the last 18 months.

Earlier this year, Kasada had acquired the Cape Grace hotel in South Africa. The platform now controls over 2,400 hotel keys across seven countries.

Johannesburg-based Kasada was launched in 2018 with the backing of Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the western Asian nation, and Accor. This was part of a plan by QIA to expand in Africa’s hospitality sector and for Accor to focus on its core European market.

The PE firm hit the first close of the maiden fund in April 2019, at $500 million. QIA-owned Katara Hospitality had put in $350 million in the Kasada fund while Accor pitched in with $150 million. QIA is also a shareholder in AccorHotels; it owned an 11.3% stake in the French group as of December 31, 2020.

Vivek Sinha

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