The Minor Hotel Group, a Thai based company, has announced that it will be partnering with the South African leisure and gaming group, Sun International in a bid to enter the African leisure and casino market. The group will expand casino operations in five African countries, it was announced.
Minor Hotel Group will take over the management of a number of Sun International properties, including the Gaborone Sun in Botswana. The Thai group also invested tens of millions of dollars to purchase stakes in other properties, some as much as 80%. It will buy a 50% stake in two properties in Zambia, as well as a number of properties in Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland.
This is not the Minor Hotel Group’s first venture into Africa. The group already has stakes in eight safari lodges on the Continent, in countries such as Tanzania, Mozambique and Kenya.
The new venture with Sun International will mean that The Minor Hotel Group will take over the management of the hotel side of the Royal Livingstone Hotel and the Zambezi Sun in Zambia, the Gaborone Sun in Botswana, the Lesotho Sun, the Maseru Sun in Lesotho, the Royal Swazi and the Ezulwini Sun in Swaziland and the Kalahari Sands in Namibia. Sun International will continue to run the casino operations on these properties where relevant.
Minor Hotel Group is strategically expanding its hospitality business into many regions and Africa is a key focus where we have seen substantial growth potential,” said the chief executive officer of Minor Group, Dillip Rajakarier in an interview to TravelDaily publication. “Starting with these existing African properties, it is the intention of this new partnership to explore together other hotel and gaming opportunities that may arise in Africa and Asia, where MHG would manage the hotel component and Sun International would manage the casino component.”
The move by Sun International to dispose of some of some of its African responsibilities and assets will allow the group to place greater focus on opportunities in Latin America and Asia, a move which it intends doing with Minor International.
“In addition to the strategic rationale, the proposed transaction allows Sun International and its management team to increase their focus on those properties in its existing portfolio that are driving the group’s financial performance and strategy,” said Sun International in a statement this week.