Energy company subsidiary aims to restore Abuja hotel
Imagery courtesy of Marriott International.
22 Hospitality, a subsidiary of Nigerian energy firm, NIPCO, has taken a controlling stake in the company that owns Sheraton Abuja Hotel with a view to restoring the property to its former glory.
The business bought 66.13% of the equity in Capital Hotels, equating to more than 2 billion shares worth 50 Nigerian kobo each.
The transaction comprised a 51% stake (1.6 billion shares) directly from Capital, 457 million shares from former majority owner Hans Gremlin Nigeria Limited, representing 14.45% of the firm, and 0.68%/21 million shares from Associated Ventures International Limited.
In a statement, NIPCO’s assistant general manager, corporate affairs, Alhaji Lawal Taofeek, quoted group executive director, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadir, as saying that this strategic drive is aimed at making the hotel carve a niche for itself by becoming a leading hospitality firm offering premium services to customers, in accordance with global standards.
The statement alleged: “The hotel is currently managed by Starwood/Marriott under various system licence agreements with Capital Hotels. In the past, Starwood had acknowledged in various reports that the hotel was in a very degraded state and will require hard renovations to make it brand compliant.
“However, despite the hotel’s poor condition and non-compliance with its brand standards, Marriott/Starwood has continued to manage the Sheraton Abuja Hotel, which is currently in a dilapidated and deplorable state.”
The statement added that the new investors are keen to turn around the fortunes of the hotel through the injection of substantial new capital under certain preconditions.
As a result of the takeover, Capital’s board, including chairman Chief Anthony Idigbe, have stepped down. Ramesh Kansagra was elected the new chairman, with his brother, Rishi Kansagra, becoming one of several new non-executive directors.
Idigbe congratulated 22 Hospitality on the successful conclusion of the transaction. He stated that his board had improved the corporate governance practice of the company and also completed the renovation of 97 rooms in the hotel and urged the new owner to sustain the tempo by renovating the remaining rooms.
The new chairman, Ramesh Kansagra, thanked the former board. He stated that the new board would reposition the hotel to its former glory and promised to turn around the finances of the hotel to become the number one in Abuja. He also stated that they had always paid dividends in all their companies and promised that Capital Hotels would not be an exception henceforth.
Analysing the move, Trevor Ward, principal of Lagos-based consultancy firm W Hospitality, told Hotel News Now: “The Kansagra family has investments in many sectors, including energy, and is the owner of the 105-room One Aldwych Hotel on London’s Strand.”
Ward said the new owner will invest in the Sheraton Abuja Hotel, adding: “The hotel has 575 rooms, but it is operating with 420. It is in pretty poor condition, but [Kansagra] is a very good investor. The hotel is operated under a management agreement. I doubt that will last.”
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