Serena Hotel Group Takes Over
East African Business Week (Kampala)
November 13, 2006
Posted to the web November 13, 2006
By Daniel Karibwije
The Aga Khan Empire has made a major leap into Rwanda by taking over a majority controlling stake from government in the Kigali Intercontinental and Kivu Sun hotels.
The five star and four star hotels respectively have been managed by the government owned Prime Holdings Limited since 2003 and leasing agreements are being finalised by the ministry of finance and economic planning, the privatization secretariat in Rwanda, the Serena legal team, Rwanda Import and Export Promotion Agency (RIEPA) and the present management of the hotels.
The Serena hotel group is under the umbrella of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) which is owned by the Aga Khan.
In an interview with Business Week at her offices last week, the general manager of Kigali Intercontinental Hotel said agreements to formalise a 30 year hotel lease to the Serena hotel group are being fine tuned and could materialise by January 2007. Top officials of the hotel chain have been frequenting the Rwandan capital Kigali to weave a deal of best interest to both parties.
“They have agreed to invest US$11million (about Frw6.2billion) to increase capacity in the two hotels,” Ms. Masozera Claudine said.
This will involve constructing 50 new rooms at Kigali Intercontinental that will increase the number from 104 to 154. A state of the art health and fitness centre will also be put in place here. “The activities at Kivu Sun hotel will also be increased and boat sports included,” she said.