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AccorHotels, Katara eye market in sub-Saharan Africa

Paris

ACCORHOTELS, Europe's biggest hotels group, and Qatari firm Katara Hospitality have announced plans to set up a US$1 billion investment fund targeting the hotels and hospitality sectors in sub-Saharan African countries.

The fund will have up to US$500 million in equity, of which Katara Hospitality and AccorHotels will contribute up to US$350 million and US$150 million respectively over the next five to seven years, with additional financing capacity reached through leverage and co-investments.

AccorHotels and Katara Hospitality added that the fund would target greenfield projects, brownfield projects and conversions of existing hotels through acquisitions.

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AccorHotels chairman and chief executive Sebastien Bazin said: "Having been present for over 40 years in Africa, we also know that there are increasing and sizeable needs for quality hospitality.

"Through this fund, we will match the expertise of Katara Hospitality together with AccorHotels' world leading brand portfolio to accelerate our dynamic growth trajectory in the sub-Saharan region."

AccorHotels has recently been on an acquisition spree, buying a 50 per cent stake in US hospitality mogul Sam Nazarian's upmarket SBE Entertainment Group last month, and expressing an interest in buying a minority stake in Air France KLM.

Previous acquisitions under Mr Bazin, who took over in 2013, include London's Savoy Hotel, The Plaza in New York, the Raffles Hotel in Singapore and Australian hotel group Mantra. REUTERS