ITB 2018 Special Reporting
InterContinental Hotels to exit Nigeria after debt fallout
Friday, 2nd February 2018
Source : Zack Quaintance

InterContinental Hotel Group is withdrawing from Nigeria just four years after it debuted its first site in Africa’s most populous country, this move comes after a disagreement with its local partners over the terms of how to get the property out of receivership.

The British multinational hotel company’s property in Nigeria has 358 rooms, and it is located in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital. The hotel, however, will cease to operate as an InterContinental-branded property as of Jan. 18. Simon Stamper, the company’s director of African operations, has previously verified this with a statement via email.

The company still has other hotels in sub-Saharan Africa, including those in South Africa, Mauritius and Zambia. InterContinental Hotels exit of Nigeria would seem to be an incident limited to that country.

InterContinental Hotels is not the first major international company to exit Nigeria. It’s departure follows that of the Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications operator Etisalat. That company gave up a 45 percent state in its Lagos unit in June. This came after the failure of talks related to loan repayment.

There are seemingly clear reasons that companies have struggled in Nigeria. Nigeria, which is Africa’s top crude producer, came out of its worst recession in more than two decades last year, and it has subsequently faced dollar shortages.

Debt in Nigeria
Last May, a court in Nigeria ordered one of the lenders to the InterContinental Hotel Group’s $83 million property, Skye Bank Plc, to take over that property from its owner, Milan Group. This was in connection to debts of $29.8 million, according to a newspaper based in Lagos at that time. However, despite this ruling InterContinental Hotels continued to manage the property. This is when it first went into receivership.

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