The entry into South Africa of New York Stock Exchange listed hospitality and property investor Marriott International via the takeover of Protea Hotels has been sanctioned by the Competition Commission.
The deal comes to further propel what could be seen as renewed confidence on the South African economy and its positioning as a launcher into the rest of the Sub Saharan region.
In a statement released today the Commission said it has unconditionally approved the sale of 80 Protea Hotels in South Africa. “The acquiring group manages residential properties worldwide under a variety of brand names including the Marriot brand. Currently, Marriott does not have any hotel business, residential business or any other business activity within South Africa.”
The Commission found that the merger is unlikely to substantially prevent or lessen competition as there is no geographic overlap between the activities of the merging parties. The transaction in essence introduces Marriot into South Africa.”
The deal has a regional aspect to it as Protea runs a franchise made of 116 hotels across, with three brands and about 10000 rooms in South Africa and six other sub-Saharan African countries.
Marriott, which operates 3800 properties around the world, has emphasised the sub Saharan angle. The company has said the Protea deal will jumpstart its African footprint.
The Marriott/Protea Hotels deal add to a couple of high profiled transactions bagged by South Africa recently. These include the R1bn land sale deal between AECI Group andShanghai Zendai Property Limited, the entry into the JSE as a banking member of Arqaam Capital and the listing of Glencore Xstrata on the Johannesburg Bourse.