Marriott acquires Protea Hotels
Protea Hotels, operated in Namibia by United Africa Group as a franchise from Protea Hotels South Africa, reports to a new boss as of this week. Nasdac-listed hotellier, Marriott International, Inc announced on Tuesday this week it has become the largest hotel company in Africa after its acquisition of South Africa’s Protea Hospitality Group. Marriott said it now operates or franchises more than 4000 hotels in 79 countries adding that its pipeline of new hotels in sub-Saharan Africa includes more than 20 hotels and 3000 rooms. Marriott’s new Protea portfolio consists of 10,148 rooms in seven African countries including South Africa.
The company now manages, franchises and leases hotels across the Protea Hotels brand (103 hotels), comprising a full and diverse range of outstanding hotels and resorts; the award-winning lifestyle boutique Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! (2 hotels); and the superior deluxe African Pride Hotels collection (11 hotels). In addition to its industry-leading 79 hotels in South Africa, Marriott’s Protea portfolio also has 37 hotels in Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. Arne Sorenson, Marriott International’s president and chief executive officer, said, “Today marks a new beginning. We can now officially say ‘molweni!’, ‘sawubona!’ and ‘hello!’ to South Africa and ‘welcome!’ to our approximately 15,000 new associates at both managed and franchised hotels across Protea’s portfolio.” Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director of Marriott International’s Middle East and Africa region, said, “Today is the culmination of months of highly productive collaboration between Protea and Marriott International teams. We are delighted that such a tremendously dedicated, talented and effective team, which has been so well-led by Protea Chief Executive Officer Arthur Gillis, is now joining the Marriott International family.” Marriott paid approximately US$200 million at current exchange rates. Marriott does not expect the Protea acquisition to have a material impact on 2014 earnings.