New agreement strengthens group’s leading market position and accelerates developmentThe Rezidor Hotel Group and several Nordic Development Funds (DFIs) have extended their cooperation to support hotel projects in Africa that are operated by Rezidor. Their collaboration agreement “Afrinord” is set to provide equity financing to hotel owners and developers in Africa and to lift business potential in selected African countries.
The agreement builds on a financial joint venture that was created in 2005 and has since then successfully supported hotel developments in South Africa, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Mali – creating 1,500 new permanent jobs; 40% of them for women. “Afrinord” further strengthens Rezidor’s presence and leading position in Africa and accelerate the group’s regional growth strategy. Rezidor has identified Africa as a key development market and holds the largest pipeline of hotels and rooms under development on the continent.
“We are delighted to continue our joint engagement in Africa and thank our Nordic partners for their trust. “Afrinord” underlines our firm commitment to the powerful emerging market of Africa. It enables us to drive selected hotel developments and to help our regional owners and business partners to reach project completion in time and on budget”, said Wolfgang M. Neumann, CEO & President of Rezidor. “We have adjusted our business model to the current market conditions across Africa. We respond to today’s needs and offer a unique combination of management services, technical assistance and sliver equity”, added Neumann.
The strategic cooperation is designed to provide equity participation by each party, and targets financially sound projects in Africa managed by Rezidor under the core brands Radisson Blu (upper upscale) and Park Inn by Radisson (midscale) or under the new lifestyle select brand Radisson Red. Acquisitions of regional management companies will also be considered. Amongst the target countries for future projects are Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Angola, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa.
“We believe in Africa. Besides offering our financial commitment to our partners, our aim is to ensure that we mitigate the risk involved in such projects through an array of development solutions and support. We want to grow further together with our partners, and we want to be a leading employer. By acting responsibly and educating local talent, we can make a huge difference to the communities we are active in”, commented Elie Younes, Senior Vice President & Head of Group Development at Rezidor. In a hotel in Cape Town supported by “Afrinord” in the past, Rezidor still cooperates with the Deaf Association of South Africa – 30% of all employees are deaf and first time hotel workers.
Rezidor opened the first hotel in Africa in 2000, the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, Cape Town (South Africa). Recognizing Africa’s enormous potential and responding to the considerable demand for internationally branded quality hotels across the continent, the group has built up an impressive network of 52 hotels and 11,500+ rooms in 22 countries in Africa, and has a regional office in South Africa. Recent flagship openings include the Radisson Blu Hotel, Maputo (Mozambique), the Radisson Blu Hotel, Lusaka (Zambia) and the Park Inn by Radisson Foreshore Hotel Cape Town (South Africa). Future openings include Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson hotels in Nairobi (Kenya), Kigali (Rwanda) and Cape Town (South Africa).