Norfolk Hotel sold for Sh2.8 billion

The vicious circle over Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Club has seen its Saudi owner sell his stake to a Nepalese entrepreneur.

Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a Saudi billionaire, has disposed his Sh2.8 billion in a move that signalled the amplification of woes affecting the hotel chain. The two hospitality facilities have been in the spotlight after management initiated the sacking all its employees. It’s understood that the radically devastating move was justified by the current economic recession that’s occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Kenya’s Attorney General Kihara Kariuki has since rescinded the hotel’s move to fire all employees. As a consequence, the management withdrew the memo that had laid notice of the mass firing.

Prince Al-Waleed, through his investment vehicle, Kingdom Holding, sold his stake to the Chaudhary Group (CG). The prince has been reorganising his portfolio months after being detained in Saudi Arabia’s sweeping crackdown on corruption.

Nairobi's Fairmont The Norfolk
Nairobi’s Fairmont The Norfolk

The ban on all international flights imposed in mid-March to curb the spread of the coronavirus have delivered a big hit to the country’s tourism industry, with some hotels at the Coast reporting occupancy rates of well below two percent in April.

The dusk-to-dawn curfew and a ban on movement in and out of five counties worst hit by the coronavirus outbreak, including Mombasa and Nairobi, worsened the hoteliers business.

Most five-star hotels including Nairobi’s Tribe Hotel, Ole Sereni and DusitD2 have closed or suspended operation due to effects of coronavirus.

Additional Information from The Business Daily 

 

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