March 21, 2012
The Rezidor Hotel Group, one of the fastest growing hotel companies in the world, and the state of Gabon have announced their close co-operation on the Gabonese hotel market. A respective agreement was signed by Rezidor's President & CEO Kurt Ritter and Brice Laccruche Alihanga, President & CEO of Wali Hotels & Resorts in Libreville on Thursday.
Rezidor recently took over the management of the Okoume Palace Hotel in Libreville. “We are delighted to have arrived in Gabon, and look forward to further strengthening our presence in the region”, said President & CEO Kurt Ritter. Rezidor will operate the property as an unbranded hotel for an interim period while the Okoume Palace Hotel will undergo an extensive 40 MUS$ renovation. In September 2013, the hotel will be dual branded – offering a 330 rooms Radisson Blu hotel and a 140 rooms Park Inn by Radisson hotel tower. In addition, the complex will provide 5 restaurants & bars, extensive meeting facilities, a business class lounge, a gym, and an outdoor swimming pool.
“We are very excited to enter into this relationship with Rezidor, and look forward to bringing this hotel back to its former glory, to establishing it as a business hub in our emerging country, and to making it a flagship real estate asset for our group in the region”, said Brice Laccruche Alihanga, President & CEO of Wali Hotels & Resorts.
The Rezidor Hotel Group operates the brands Radisson Blu (upper upscale segment), Park Inn by Radisson (mid market) and Hotel Missoni (luxury lifestyle), and currently features a portfolio of more than 425 hotels with 93,000 rooms in operation and under development in 68 countries across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The African continent is one of the key development regions for the group: Rezidor's African portfolio comprises 19 hotels with 4,800 rooms in operation and 25 hotels with 5,500 rooms under development – the company has the largest pipeline of any international hotel operator in sub-Saharan Africa.
The agreement in Libreville could be signed thanks to the support of BGFI Capital, a bank of BGFI Group. BGFI Capital guides investors through larger projects in Gabon and Africa, and advises on acquisitions, restructuring, financial strategies, and private equity.
“Africa is a fascinating and emerging market for us. We see a huge growth potential for our core brands Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson on the continent”, commented Kurt Ritter.
“This strategic partnership is a concrete answer to the wish of the Gabonese authorities to grow and develop the country as a tourism destination in Africa”, added Brice Laccruche Alihanga.