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Shaking Hands: Africa Welcomes One of the Largest Cross-Border Hospitality M&As

The night indeed seems to be the darkest just before the dawn. This is the first idea that came to our minds when we heard about a truly impressive 1,602-key acquisition of a portfolio in Sub-Saharan Africa. Kasada Hospitality Fund LP, a South African private equity firm focusing on hospitality assets, has just purchased eight fully operational hotels from AccorInvest, smoothly becoming the hero of all the industry news media.

The properties are based in Ivory Coast, Senegal, and Cameroon, which are all growing at a steady pace and are expected to continue doing so in the mid and long terms.

Moreover, these countries’ economies are quite highly dependent on tourism – specifically contributing 8%, 10% and 7% to the respective GDPs. At times like these, such an investment may be crucial for the countries in question and also shows the seriousness and commitment Kasada exposes when talking about their ambition to turn Sub-Saharan Africa into a travel hotspot.

As to the properties themselves, their main target market is intra-regional business travelers, looking to stay with a known and well-respected brand offering standardized good-quality services. This is where Kasada’s strategy promises to shine in the best colors – given the current global market circumstances, the demand most likely to recover first is that of Kasada’s potential guests. See for yourselves: the hotels in question are Pullman, Novotel, Ibis Plateau and Ibis Marcory in Abidjan, Ivory Coast; the Pullman, Novotel and Ibis in Dakar, Senegal and the Ibis in Douala, Cameroon. All of them are normally favored by international and domestic business travelers.

Overall, Kasada’s long-communicated commitment is to become a true game-changer in the hospitality industry on the continent, promoting responsible operations, monitoring its environmental footprint and empowering communities through hiring local teams. Hopefully, this impressive newly-acquired portfolio will become another step on its path to the successful realization of such ambitious goals.

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