Acquisition Makes Marriott Largest Hotelier in Africa

Marriott International has acquired Protea Hospitality Group (PHG), a South Africa-based hotelier with 116 hotels in the Middle East and Africa, it announced yesterday. The acquisition, which nearly doubles the company’s presence in the Middle East and Africa, makes Marriott the largest hotelier in Africa.

“Today marks a new beginning. We can now officially say ‘molweni!’ (Xhosa), ‘sawubona!’ (Zulu) and ‘hello!’ to South Africa and ‘welcome!’ to our approximately 15,000 new associates at both managed and franchised hotels across Protea’s portfolio,” Marriott International President and CEO Arne Sorenson said in a statement. “We look forward to integrating the superb Protea team into the Marriott International family, and together, to work toward new opportunities for growth and advancement throughout South Africa and the continent.”

According to Marriott, its pipeline in the Middle East and Africa — including Protea’s pipeline — now includes more than 65 hotels and 14,300 rooms, including more than 20 hotels and 3,000 rooms in sub-Saharan Africa. Marriott now has properties in South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia, not to mention Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Rwanda, where the company had properties prior to acquiring Protea.

Said Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director of Marriott International’s Middle East and Africa region, “Today is the culmination of months of highly productive collaboration between Protea and Marriott International teams. We are delighted that such a tremendously dedicated, talented and effective team, which has been so well-led by Protea Chief Executive Officer Arthur Gillis, is now joining the Marriott International family. With the addition of Protea’s regional knowledge, expertise and infrastructure, we are incredibly well-positioned to continue growing in one of the fastest expanding economic markets in the world.”

According to Marriott, the Protea portfolio will likely be available for booking on or via Marriott International’s Global Reservations Centers toward the end of May. The hotels will join the Marriott Rewards guest loyalty program at a later point, to be announced.

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