Rotana to go public in three years

An artist’s impresssion of the new Airport Rotana Hotel Khartoum

ROTANA Hotels is set to go private in three years’ time, according to a statement from the company.

The chain has just completed a private placement transaction with Shuaa Capital, a regional investment banking firm based in the UAE.
Rotana operates 21 properties, and has deals in place to take that number to 42 by 2008. By 2010, the company aims to be managing 50 hotels, with a stated goal of at least one property in every key city in the Middle East.
Selim El Zyr, president and CEO of Rotana Hotels, said: “As a next step we envisage tapping into the local markets through a public floatation within the coming two to three years, subject to favourable market conditions. In the meantime, we are focusing on expanding our operations into new markets and sectors, and we have ambitious plans to grow our room portfolio to around 9,000 in the next two years.”
The private placement attracted strategic regional institutional and individual investors for a 40 per cent stake of the company comprising a capital increase and a partial sale by existing shareholders. The value of the transaction was not revealed.
Shuaa Partners, the private equity arm of Shuaa Capital, has taken a sizeable equity investment.
The company operates a portfolio of brands which includes Rotana Hotels, Rotana Suites and Rotana Resorts in addition to the newly launched Centro by Rotana – a three-star hotel concept.
Proceeds from the capital increase will go towards future investments, specifically investments in key hotel properties throughout the Middle East and to promote the newly-launched Centro by Rotana brand.
On the presence of favorable market conditions for the Centro by Rotana brand, Samer Katerji, vice president at Shuaa Capital’s Investment Banking Advisory, said: “We believe that the Centro by Rotana brand is being introduced at the right time, as the regional markets lack quality hospitality products in this segment.”

Amman, Khartoum
Earlier last month, Rotana announced their acquiring of a plot in the prestigious Abdali development project for the 450-unit Amman Rotana Hotel. The deal was signed with Abdali Investment and Development. This will be Rotana’s first property in Jordan and is set to open by the end of 2008 at Abdali, the new urban downtown of Amman that will effectively link old Amman with the more modern Shmesani business district.
Also in development is the group’s second property in rapidly developing Khartoum, the Airport Rotana Hotel Khartoum, situated three kilometres from the international airport, near the renowned Afra mall and 15 minutes away from the capital centre. The property will have 250 rooms and suites, a restaurant and café, a ballroom with state-of-the-art MICE facilities and a business centre. It is expected to open during the third quarter of the year.