Meikles Hotel sale not yet finalised

…still subject to revision and shareholder approval


Tinashe Makichi

Meikles Limited group executive chairman John Moxon says the acquisition of part
of the group’s hospitality business by Dubai-based entity Albwardy
Investment is still subject to both revision and approval from its shareholders.

will be revised in the event of rejection by shareholders.

Albwardy Investment’s special purpose vehicle ASB Hospitality Zimbabwe
will acquire Meikles Hotel but even though the Competition and Tariff Commission had approved the transaction, there are indication that the deal might not sail past the shareholders.

Moxon told Business Times that an extraordinary general meeting is expected to approve the deal. If the approval is not granted, the deal may be terminated or revised.

“The hotel deal is subject to shareholder approval at an EGM and RBZ approval. There are no discussions on Tanganda with Albwardy,” he said.

“There is an agreement, but it is subject to approval and if not approved, the deal will be terminated or revised.  The figures mentioned (US$20 million) are not representative of the final value.”

Moxon said the deal will see the Dubai-based investor spending substantial amounts of funds on hotel renovations.

Asked about the financial capacity of Albwardy, Moxon noted that the investor has since proved its capacity to consummate the deal.

“His empire is vast in financial terms. I have not heard of any doubts. In any deal of this nature, proof of payment is provided up front and payment is secured before the deal is consummated.”

This is the second coming by the investor after pulling out when its quest to acquire 100 percent shareholding in Meikles Limited failed. The last proposed transaction was expected to subsequently lead to the delisting of the diversified group,
which has interest in retail, hospitality and agriculture.

There are also indications that Albwardy is also interested in Tanganda, due to its exposure to the export market.

Moxon said the deal with Albwardy on Meikles Hotel will not have a bearing on Victoria Falls Hotel which will remain operational on its own. The hotel is jointly owned by Meikles Limited and African Sun.

Albwardy Investment, whose chairman is Dubai based billionaire Ali Albwardy, has subsidiaries in hospitality, food, trade, industry, insurance, logistics, industrial engineering and construction, entertainment services, fast moving consumer goods distribution and lifestyle among others.

The holding company was founded in the mid 1970’s by Ali Saeed Juma Albwardy. The group has since grown to have a global reach, operating in over 20 countries, with a combined workforce of over 10 000.

With an annual turnover exceeding US$1bn, the group represents many international leading brands through exclusive distribution, operating and partnership agreements.
The group’s business interests consist of sole ownership, joint ventures and equity stakes in leading companies across the globe with operations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and South America.