The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) approves buyout of Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal stake in the troubled Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Club In Kenya
The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has approved the buyout of Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal stake in the troubled Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Club to a Nepalese tycoon for Sh2.8 billion. The mega deal was closed ahead of the global spread of Covid-19.
The deal, estimated at Sh2.8 billion, will be the second deal in the region for the Kathmandu-based multinational which also owns Le Relax Hotel in the Indian Ocean island nation of Seychelles.
“It is notified that the Competition Authority of Kenya has approved the proposed acquisition of control of Kingdom 5-KR 185 Limited by Madison Hotels and Resorts Limited,” said CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki in a gazette notice published last Friday.
Prince Al-Waleed, through his investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding, sold his stake to Binod Chaudhary, who founded a multi-national conglomerate headquartered in Nepal and has investments in financial services, consumer goods, education, hospitality, energy, consumer electronics, real estate, biotech, and alternative medicine.
Running Chaudhary Group, Binod Chaudhary, a billionaire Nepalese lawmaker, has already listed the two hotels among its string of high-end hospitality investments spread in Asia and the Middle East.
It says the deal will give it an additional 170 guest rooms and suites, 51 luxury tents and about 10 food and beverage outlets.
Chaudhary Group also has investments in banking, education, energy, telecommunication and pharmaceuticals with operations in five continents. The Group Chairman and President, Binod, is estimated to be worth $1.4 billion (Sh148.5 billion), according to Nepalese media reports.
The acquisition was hailed as one of the largest in East Africa at the time. But Prince Alweed has taken a strategic decision to divest from hotels, selling Four Seasons Damascus in Syria and Four Seasons Beirut in Lebanon.
The sales come two years after the prince, who is a grandson of the founder of Saudi Arabia, became one the high-ranking Saudi officials arrested in what authorities there said was an anti-corruption crackdown.