18th January 2017- InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) that owns a combined total of 5,272 hotels with 785,544 rooms with group ownership of Holiday Inn & Crown Plaza, is leaving Nigeria four years after it established the tallest hotel building at the heart of Victoria Island in Lagos (Africa’s most populous commercial centre), over disagreement with its partners on how to bring the property out of receivership.
Simon Stamper (IHG’s Chief of African Operations) in an emailed statement says from 18 January the 358 room hotel in Lagos will cease to bear the name Intercontinental Hotels. IHG leaves Nigeria to focus on its operations in Southern Africa with chains in Republic of South Africa, Mauritius & Zambia.
“We remain committed to Africa and continue operations in all our other properties across the continent as usual.”
With the confirmation of financial impropriety by the board of Skye Bank and transfer to administration by Asset Management Company of Nigeria, that saw the CBN mobilize the Government to step in and stabilize the lender for debts to the tune of 700bn naira, that threatens the stability of the Bank, its shareholders and customers, the Bank is clamping down on its debtors.
In 2017, A federal high court sitting in Lagos at the request of the Lender, Skye Bank, ordered Milan Group, the parent company of InterContinental Hotels in Lagos to take over the hotels over debt of $29.8m & 3.8bn naira over a total debt stock of 30bn naira ($83m) owed to the Lender, Skye Bank.
Remember that in 2014, the slide in the value of the naira, that saw so many dollar denominated debts fall into insolvency and raised the non-performing loan book of several lenders, including a consortium of Zenith, Guaranty Trust, Access Bank, Union, UBA Banks, that took over the fourth largest mobile telecom Networks Etisalat, owing north of 500bn naira to the above mentioned lenders. The crisis on crude oil revenues, exchange rate, increased inflation, employee turnover and closure of several service dependent businesses, caused a major hit to the contract agreements of corporate clients that had accounts with the hotel group and guaranteed them a minimum number of clients to keep them afloat and in good stead to service their loan book.