African Sun in refurbishment drive

HARARE - Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed hospitality group, African Sun Limited (ASL), has embarked on a multi-million dollar refurbishment exercise aimed at sprucing up the image of its hotels across the country.

The group’s managing director, Edwin Shangwa, on Monday told the businessdaily that ASL — under its partnership with South Africa’s Legacy Group (Legacy) — had begun refurbishment work at Elephant Hills and Monomotapa hotels.

Shangwa said ASL had also applied for funding from local and international financiers for all Legacy-managed hotels such as Kingdom, Troutbeck, Monomotapa, Elephant Hills and Hwange Safari Lodge.

“We have started with the Elephant Hills Hotel, where we have re-painted both the interior and exterior.

“We have re-done the restaurant and we are now refurbishing other rooms,” he said adding that Monomotapa Hotel has since been renamed Monomotapa Harare and has incorporated Legacy corporate colours.

The ASL boss said the hotelier was still in discussions with the Harare City Council for the full expansion and refurbishment of Monomotapa.

ASL, which exited all its regional markets to focus on local operations and plug cash haemorrhages from external operations, entered into the hotel management deal with Legacy last year.

The deal is expected to culminate in Legacy undertaking a $60 million face-lift of all the five hotels it manages over a two-year period.

Legacy is among the largest hotel chains in South Africa, with operations in Gabon, Ghana, Namibia and Nigeria.

The Legacy partnership was according to sources spearheaded by ASL’s majority shareholders, private equity investment and advisory firm, Brainworks Capital Management.

Through its investment vehicle, Lengrah, Brainworks initially bought into the hotel group in 2013 following a transaction between the firm and former chief executive Shingi Munyeza’s family trust, Nhaka Trust.

The private equity investment and advisory firm shored up its shareholding in African Sun to 55,11 percent after the closure of its mandatory offer to the hotelier’s minority shareholders in May this year.

ASL hotels in Zimbabwe are Holiday Inn Harare and Bulawayo, Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls, Troutbeck in Nyanga and Carribea Bay in Kariba among others.

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