Minor Hotel Group has further expanded its presence in Mozambique through a significant hotel and mixed use investment in the capital Maputo, in addition to increasing its hotel portfolio with the rebranding of existing assets in the country to its Anantara and AVANI brands.
Minor Hotel Group has invested approximately USD 101 million to acquire 49% of a hotel and mixed-use property project in Maputo in a joint venture with Rani Investment LLC. The hotel and mixed-use development consists of the existing 154-key Radisson Blu Hotel, together with a 187-key residential tower and a 21-storey office tower of approximately 20,900 square metres, both of which are under construction. The project is well located in prime Maputo CBD, facing the renowned Maputo Bay. The residential project is expected to be completed by the end of 2015, the majority of which will be retained as rental units. The office project is also expected to be completed by the end of 2015 and will cater to pent-up demand for international quality office space.
As the capital city of Mozambique, Maputo is expected to reap the growth benefit of the country's robust economy, buoyed by foreign investment and emerging domestic consumption, growth in the extracting sector and recent discovery of a substantial offshore natural gas reserve.
In line with its continued growth strategy for Africa, Minor Hotel Group launched its first property, Anantara Bazaruto Island Resort & Spa in Mozambique, in November 2013, and has recently rebranded two properties which were part of a previous investment partnership with Rani Investments LLC in April 2014.
Representing the first AVANI on the African continent, AVANI Pemba Beach Hotel & Spa provides a prime location in the heart of Pemba for business guests and also attracts leisure guests as a gateway to the Niassa National Reserve and spectacular local diving sites. The hotel is situated in the country's far northern province of Cabo Delgado, and offers 185 guest rooms, suites, villas and apartments. Pemba Airport is accessed from Johannesburg, Maputo, Nairobi and Dar as Salaam.
Located in the Quirimbas Archipelago, a 250 kilometre long string of tropical islands off Mozambique's northern coast, Anantara Medjumbe Island Resort & Spa offers a tranquil hideaway on a paradise private island. The resort offers a boutique collection of 12 thatched beachfront villas, each with their own pool and hammock, and combines sophisticated simplicity with unrivalled hospitality. Anantara Medjumbe Island is home to its own airstrip, a 45-minute light aircraft flight from Pemba Airport.
The Quirimbas Archipelago is also the location of one further property in the portfolio which is currently closed for an extensive renovation, to be rebranded to Anantara Matemo Island Resort & Spa in 2015.
Dillip Rajakarier, CEO Minor Hotel Group, commented, "Minor Hotel Group's continued investment with Rani demonstrates absolute confidence in our strategic partnership, as well as in Mozambique's growth prospects. We are delighted to launch the very first AVANI branded hotel in Africa and to grow our luxury Anantara brand, and with our added presence in Maputo, Minor Hotel Group now has investments from the north all the way to the south of Mozambique. Minor Hotel Group's expertise in the hotel and real estate industry, combined with Rani's business expertise and network in Mozambique, will help ensure the effective execution of these properties and new developments."
Rani Investment LLC is the investment arm of Aujan Group Holding with more than USD 300 million of dedicated investments in the Middle East and Africa. Rani Investment LLC is the largest private hospitality owner-operator in Mozambique, having first established its presence in 1999 under the Rani Resorts name.
Salim Bitar, CEO Rani Investment LLC, also commented, "Our relationship with the Minor Hotel Group is built on a shared vision about the potential for economic growth in Africa. We are therefore pleased to join hands again in our newest joint venture in Maputo. This expanding partnership which now covers five locations, represents our commitment to bring world-class brands and services to our destinations, and to continue making significant investments in the hospitality and tourism sectors in Mozambique."
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