Led by partners, Gasant Orie and Peter Hesseling along with Senior Associate, Justine Krige, CDH's Corporate and Commercial practice advised the Protea Hospitality Group, the largest hotel group in Africa, in its R2.3 billion acquisition by Nasdaq-listed, Marriott International, Inc. This deal made Marriott the largest hotel company in Africa and nearly doubled its presence in the Middle East and Africa region to more than 160 hotels and 23,000 rooms.
Our longstanding experience as advisers to African entities in similar transactions undertaken by global investors was of substantial commercial benefit to the client on this deal. The transaction was complex and involved the use of novel legal and tax structuring mechanisms to achieve the end result. The deal included a number of different, but interrelated transactions making up the bigger transaction.
At the time that the transaction was concluded, it was believed to be one of the first statutory mergers in terms of the new Companies Act that was completed in South Africa. It comprised the use of the statutory merger mechanism on a large scale (12 separate mergers), given the size of the group that was being merged.
Due to the multi-jurisdictional nature of both the group (with operations in South Africa, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Mauritius and the UK) and the purchaser, the transaction involved complex cross-border tax structuring, exchange control, competition law and other regulatory issues.