Did you know? Dissecting the African Sun

07 Jun, 2019 - 00:06 0 Views
Did you know? Dissecting the African Sun

eBusiness Weekly

Fradreck Gorwe
History of the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) listed hotel investment company, African Sun (ASUN.zw), stretches back to the Federation period when Rhodesia and Nyasaland Hotels Limited was formed as a subsidiary of Rhodesia Breweries (later Delta Corporation Limited) in 1952.

Events to 1974 saw the development of the first four world-class hotels some that later became the Group’s subsidiaries. These include Monomotapa Hotel, Wankie Safari Lodge, Caribbea Bay in Kariba and the Elephant Hills Country Club in Victoria Falls.

Meikles Southern Sun Hotels, forerunner to African Sun, was established in 1979 and it became the largest hotel chain in Southern and Eastern Africa, controlling 13 properties. The name changed to Zimbabwe Sun Hotels (ZimSun) in 1980 to demonstrate an evacuation from pre-independence reality.

ZimSun merged with Touch the Wild Safari in 1988. The later was acquired by Rainbow Tourism Group in 1998. In 1990 the company got listed on ZSE after an initial public offering (IPO) disposal of 70 million shares. It gave impetus to the first timeshares in Troutbeck, Nyanga and Caribbea Bay, Kariba.

The first Holiday Inn franchise appeared in Harare in 1991. Following was the opening of Elephant Hills Resort and Conference Centre in 1992.

Regionalisation began with a Johannesburg (SA) reservations office in 1994 with further progression prompting unbundling off Delta Corporation in 2002. Unbundling of Dawn Properties from ZimSun ensued in 2003. Significant regional acquisitions followed in series; The Grace Hotel, SA (2004), The Lakes Hotel and Conference Centre, SA (2008), Obudu Mountain Resort (2008), Holiday Inn Accra, Ghana (management: 2008), and Best Western Homeville, Nigeria (2011) among others.

To reflect regional expansion strategy and open-up for pan-African ideas, the company re-branded to African Sun Limited in 2008. A recapitalisation drive ensued through a Rights Issue in 2009 and US$10 million was generated.

In 2015, the group dropped foreign operations to focus on Zimbabwean ones. Business was re-modelled from Hotel Management to Hotel Investment. Accordingly, the group engaged services of a Hotel Management Company, Legacy Hospitality Management (SA) to manage five local hotels that include Elephant Hills Resort and Conference Centre, Hwange Safari Lodge, Monomotapa Hotel, Troutbeck Resort and the Kingdom at Victoria Falls Resort.

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