The company made this announcement on October 1st at the Africa Hotel Investment Forum, which was recently held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Carlson Rezidor has signed new deals for the development of two Radisson Blu hotels in both Accra, Ghana and Kampala, Uganda.
Radisson Blu Accra Airport
The Radisson Blu Accra Airport will be located at the airport, and will be part of The Exchange, a 75,000sqm mixed-use development that will also comprise office, retail and residential components. The Exchange is being developed by Actis and its portfolio company, Laurus Development Partners, in partnership with Mabani Holdings. The first phase of development is expected to be completed by 2016.
The hotel will have 207 keys, a rooftop swimming pool, fitness centre, extensive meeting and banqueting facilities, as well as food and beverage outlets. It is expected to open in 2017.
The development underscores the commitment Carlson Rezidor has to growing its portfolio in sub-Saharan Africa, and the confidence investors – domestic and international – have in Ghana. Director of Mabani Holdings, Philip Salem, remarks that its “partnership with Actis and Carlson Rezidor demonstrates the potential for local and international businesses to come together to deliver world class infrastructure that will underpin Ghana’s future growth”.
Actis is a global pan-emerging private equity firm with an estimated US$6 billion funds under management, invested only in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Its West African portfolio includes the Accra Mall and Ikeja City Mall, with other projects under development such as One Airport Square, Accra and Jabi Lake Mall, Abuja.
Radisson Blu Hotel, Kampala
The Radisson Blu Kampala will be located in the city’s prime business district featuring 195 keys, four food and beverage outlets, meeting and conference spaces, an outdoor swimming pool, gym and spa and other signature Radisson Blu facilities. The hotel was signed in a deal with Park Hospitality, a local investment firm that will explore other opportunities to develop the brand in East Africa.
The hotel is expected to open in 2016.
Carlson Rezidor opened its first African hotel in 2000, the Radisson Blu Waterfront, Cape Town. The company has since built up its African portfolio to 51 hotels (11,500 hotel rooms) in 21 African countries since then. There is a regional office in Cape Town which oversees the company’s development activity in the region.
In the 2014 African hotel pipeline report by W Hospitality Group, Carlson Rezidor had the leading position with the most number of hotels and rooms on the pipeline of any hotel group. Driven by its Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson brands, the hotel planned to open 30 hotels, with 6,248 hotel rooms across Africa, by 2019. Of these planned hotels, approximately 4,000 rooms are currently under development in 10 countries including Nigeria, South Africa and Gabon. The Radisson Blu Mammy Yoko, Freetown, Sierra Leone opened this year.
The group recently launched two new brands – Radisson Red, a lifestyle select service brand primarily targeted at millennials, and Quorvus, which is to be a collection of luxury hotels. According to Elie Younes, the company’s Senior Vice President and Head of Group Development, Africa represents an important growth market for the company. The development strategy focuses on a proactive asset-light growth in emerging markets such as the African ones. Carlson Rezidor wants to “grow further on the continent together with our existing and new partners through transparent and responsible long-term business relationships.”