Tourism is an area targeted for growth in many African economies and this, together with business travel into and within Africa, has been driving activity in the hotels and leisure sector on the continent.
We have specialist know-how and experience in the sector, having advised a number of international hotel groups as they commenced doing business in Africa, or have looked to expand their existing footprint in Africa. Such advice has covered many different areas including real estate leasing, conservation, development and construction, intellectual property licensing, gambling licensing, franchising, environmental and other regulatory advice, financing, tax structuring and dispute resolution.
From an M&A perspective, we have advised one of the world’s largest hotel groups in its acquisition of a South African-based hotel group with interests in over eight African countries. From a real estate and conservation perspective, we have specialist experience in assisting clients create and implement legal structures for primarily community-based conservation projects, a key product offering for players in the African tourism sector. We have for many years acted for most of the big names in conservation around the world, including The Nature Conservancy, Conservation International, African Parks Network, African Wildlife Foundation, Ol Pejeta Conservancy and The Lewa Wildlife Conservancy among others.
Through our footprint in Africa, including the OHADA region, and our strong relationships with firms on the ground in other key jurisdictions in Africa, we are well placed to provide cross-border advice spanning the full range of legal services to clients doing business in this sector.
- Advising Hospitality Property Fund Limited (as Issuer), the various obligors and FirstRand Bank Limited (acting through its Rand Merchant Bank division) (as Manager) on the ZAR 600 million issuance of Senior Secured Floating Rate Notes due 31 March 2023.
- Hospitality Property Fund Limited (a company listed on the Main Board and Interest Rate Market of the JSE Limited) and a specialised Real Estate Investment Trust (“REIT”) investing solely in the hospitality and leisure sectors, and its property holding subsidiaries in relation to:
- The amendment and restatement of the Hospitality Property Fund Limited Domestic Medium Term Note Programme by, inter alia, increasing the programme size from ZAR 2 billion to ZAR5 billion
- The restructure of the Hospitality group’s existing security structure.
- We assisted Peermont Global Group in its raising of ZAR 5.3 billion of new debt and the associated recapitalisation and restructuring of the hospitality and gaming group.
- We advised Hospitality Property Fund (a company listed on the Main Board and Interest Rate Market of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and a specialised real estate investment trust (REIT) investing solely in the hospitality and leisure sectors) and its property holding subsidiaries on the amendment and restatement of its DMTN programme by increasing the programme size from ZAR 2 billion to ZAR 5 billion, and the restructuring of the company’s existing security structure.
- We advised Zhonghong Holding Co. Ltd, a Chinese resort developer and large-scale tourism industry project management company, in relation to its USD 412 million acquisition (through one or more affiliates) of a 90.5% stake in tour operator Abercrombie & Kent Group of Companies S.A. (by acquiring certain Abercrombie & Kent entities located in South Africa and Tanzania).
- We advised The Fifth Cinven Fund (managed by Cinven Capital Management (V) General Partner Limited), a Canadian private equity investor, and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in relation to the Kenyan competition aspects relating to the acquisition of joint control of GTA Travel Holding Limited (a Swiss travel and tourism company), Kuoni Holdings PLC and their subsidiaries.
- We advised HNA Group, a multinational conglomerate involved in aviation, real estate, financial services, tourism, logistics, and other industries based on Hong Kong, and CWT Limited, a company based in Singapore in the business of logistics services, commodity marketing, financial services and engineering services, in relation to the African competition aspects of HNA Group’s acquisition of control of CWT Limited pursuant to a voluntary general offer to purchase all the issued shares in CWT. The transaction will enable the HNA Group to among other things enter the logistics, engineering, financial services and commodity trading sectors and gain a presence in more than 90 companies globally.
- We advised World Triathlon Corporation and Ironman Epic Holdings in relation to its acquisition from Kevin Vermaak, Moxie Marx Close Corporation of the entire share capital of Grandstand Management and Cape Epic, and all intellectual property owned by Moxie Marx CC, which together are responsible for the organisation and implementation of the “ABSA Cape Epic”, the world’s foremost mountain-bike stage race.
- We advised a large international hotel chain in relation to its arrangements with a local Kenyan entity on its possible establishment of operations in Nairobi. We advised on the due diligence on the land on which the hotel will be developed and various corporate and commercial matters, including the transaction documents for the commercial arrangements between our client and the local Kenyan entity.
- We advised Wilderness Holdings in relation to its acquisition of the Governors’ Camp Group of Companies in Kenya and Rwanda. Wilderness Holdings is the holding company for many of Africa’s premier ecotourism brands and is listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.