Iconic InterContinental Hotel exits scene

Iconic InterContinental Hotel exits scene

Nairobi’s high end Intercontinental Hotel has shown little or no confidence of surviving according to reports by Kenya Hotel Properties Limited (KHPL) after lease agreement with the hotel was terminated July last year.

The five-star Hotel with 53 years of operation in Kenya has feared leasing out the building or change of business model for the hotel, which closed permanently in August 2020 following the sacking of its employees after the industry was hard-hit by COVID-19.

According to KHPL, it is seeking advice on a mixed approach model complicating the intentions by the government to sell its 33.8 percent stake.

“To envision and evaluate a mixed-use approach to the premises together with the pros and cons associated therewith,” KPH said in a notice seeking consultants.

The decision to put the global chain InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) on the dead rock has seen to devalue the once City’s iconic hotel.

“Define the various strategic options available for the company premises and adjacent parking silo to repurpose the property to ensure maximum returns on investment,” said KHP in a notice.

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The notice by KHPL further signals that the whole sale of the government’s stake has been lagging behind for a period more than ten years in which the landlord is interested in earning a selling fee from the 389-room facility.

The Privatisation Commission had expected to commence leasing talks with Sovereign Group, owning a19.2 percent of Kenya Hotel Properties Limited (KHPL) and Development Bank of Kenya, which owns 12.99 percent stake.

The Commission also expects Sovereign Group to buy the stake held by the government.

Former President Daniel Moi’s ally Joshua Kulei and Moi’s Ex-Private Secretary Rodger Kacon with Amed Jibril also own a joint stake less than one percent in the hotel.

Kenya lost nearly Ksh.100 billion in tourism revenue last year, when the number of foreign visitors decreased by two thirds due to the pandemic with the industry having earned the country, Ksh163.5 billion in 2018.

The government had initially expected that figure to grow by one percent in 2020.

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