New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Ohlthaver and List Partnership With Kempinski, IFA Hotels Ends

Windhoek — The business marriage between Ohlthaver and List (O&L) Group of Companies, the IFA Hotels and Resorts, and the hotel management company Kempinski has been dissolved. This effectively ends the 2007 deal, worth an estimated N$651.75 million (US$75 million).

Executive Chairman of the O&L Group, Sven Thieme, says the global economic crisis had a major negative impact on business, hitting the tourism and travel industry much harder. "It is for this reason that both IFA Hotels & Resorts as well as O&L found it necessary to review our partnership and hence our decision to end our partnership," said Thieme.

IFA Hotels and Resorts, along with Kempinski, have been managing the Mokuti Lodge and Midgard Country Estate. The companies have also been waiting for the completion of the luxury five-star hotel at the coast, Strand Hotel, to manage, as part of the contract.

Another luxury hotel was on the cards for the Windhoek city centre, and Thieme says the development of a Windhoek hotel has for now been shelved.

Thieme said O&L is "reviewing its business model and the outcome of the review will then be tabled to the relevant authorities for consideration and once all the necessary approvals have been obtained, we will make an announcement in that regard".

In the meantime, O&L will from now on manage its hotel and hospitality subsidiary on its own. The group does however caution that the investment level that it announced six years ago in the hospitality industry, is set to be considerably less, seeing that the two foreign partners have pulled out.

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