PARIS, July 23 (Reuters) - AccorHotels, Europe’s biggest hotels group, and Qatar firm Katara Hospitality announced plans to set up a $1 billion investment fund targeting the hotels and hospitality sectors in sub-Saharan African countries.
The fund will amount to up to $500 million in equity, of which Katara Hospitality and AccorHotels will contribute respectively up to $350 million and $150 million over the next 5-7 years, with additional financing capacity reached through leverage and co-investments.
AccorHotels and Katara Hospitality added that the fund would target greenfield projects, brownfield projects and conversions of existing hotels through acquisitions.
“Having been present for over 40 years in Africa, we also know that there are increasing and sizeable needs for quality hospitality,” said AccorHotels chairman and chief executive Sebastien Bazin.
“Through this fund, we will match the expertise of Katara Hospitality together with AccorHotels’ world leading brand portfolio to accelerate our dynamic growth trajectory in the sub-Saharan region,” added Bazin.
AccorHotels has recently been on an acquisition spree, buying a 50 percent stake in U.S. hospitality mogul Sam Nazarian’s upmarket SBE Entertainment Group last month, and expressing an interest in buying a minority stake in Air France KLM.
Previous acquisitions under AccorHotels’ chief executive Bazin, who took over in 2013, include London’s Savoy Hotel, The Plaza in New York, the Raffles Hotel in Singapore and Australian hotel group Mantra. (Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Mathieu Rosemain)