Debt: InterContinental Hotel Lagos to be deflagged

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By VICTOR NZE

The 358-room InterContinental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos is to be deflagged following the collapse of talks between the United Kingdom-based property owner and its local partners over terms of rescuing the portfolio from receivership.

InterContinental Hotel in Victoria Island, Lagos, the first property of the U.K-based Milan Group, was commissioned for business in September 2013 by immediate past Governor of Lagos State, and now Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola.

It is also the first InterContinental flagged hotel in Nigeria by the hospitality chain which also has portfolios in South Africa, Mauritius and Zambia.

The move to exit the Nigerian market following the collapse for debt repayment talks was confirmed by Mr InterContinental Hotels Group’s (IHG) Director of African Operations, Simon Stamper, in an emailed statement, last Wednesday, while also adding that the landmark high-rise hotel on Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island will no longer operate as an InterContinental-branded property as from January 18.

“We remain committed to Africa and continue operations in all our other properties across the continent as usual,” he said.

It would be recalled that a Lagos High Court last May ordered Skye Bank Plc, one of the lenders to the N30 billion InterContinental Hotel, to take over the property from its owner, Milan Group, over debts of $29.8 million and N3.8 billion.

However, IHG continued to manage the property, which then went into receivership.

IHG has 5,272 hotels worldwide with 785,544 rooms and owns brands including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza.

The InterContinental hotel is not new to deflagging of its properties as it undertook the same measure in 2011, when it exited about 10 per cent of its Crowne Plaza hotels portfolios for not meeting product quality and consistency standards.

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