Kasada Capital Management, a private equity firm that focuses on the hospitality sector in Sub-Saharan Africa, has struck the sixth deal from its maiden fund and the fourth since January.
Kasada said it is acquiring the former Crowne Plaza Upper Hill in Nairobi, Kenya. This is the second deal in East Africa after it recently purchased the Umubano Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda.
The Crowne Plaza, which opened in 2010, is located in Upper Hill, Nairobi’s financial centre and a commercial hub that is home to the headquarters of several local businesses, international institutions and diplomatic delegations.
With 206 rooms, a ballroom that can accommodate 300 people, and over 10 meeting rooms with a total capacity of 550 people, the hotel is one of the largest meeting and event spaces in Nairobi. Refurbishment of the property will begin by the end of the year. The soon-to-be dual-branded property will also include a co-working space.
Olivier Granet, Kasada’s Managing Partner and CEO, said: “This acquisition offers us a gateway into Nairobi’s vibrant ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship.”
David Damiba, Kasada’s Managing Partner and CIO, added: “As we seek to diversify our portfolio to deliver attractive risk-adjusted returns and yields, our second investment into East Africa marks a milestone in establishing our presence in the core west, east and southern regions of the continent.”
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.