HOSPITALITY group Rainbow Tourism Group (RTG) is in the process of acquiring the iconic Montclair Hotel and Casino (Private) Limited in Juliasdale, Nyanga, for about US$6 million, The NewsHawks has established.
Montclair is a getaway resort, owned by a consortium of 23 indigenous shareholders, running Briolette Services (Pvt) Limited.
The hotel features an in-house casino and 85 rooms. It has a nine-hole golf course.
The RTG’s bid was accepted on Monday. The hospitality group has been trying to acquire the hotel since November last year alongside two other bidders, Sterling Hotel Group and the Public Service Commission.
Zimbabwean-owned Sterling Group of Hotels has three properties, an executive boutique hotel in Borrowdale, Harare, with 14 rooms, another one in Mvurwi with 28 rooms and 18 villas. The group recently opened a 62-room hotel in Bulawayo.
Sterling Hotels has been expanding its footprint in the country through buying properties, having invested US$6 million in the tourism industry. If they had won the bid of acquiring Montclaire, their investment would have doubled to US$12 million.
Efforts to get a comment from Josh Sachikonye, the board chair of the consortium which owns Montclair, were fruitless while Bongani Zamchiya, another shareholder, was not reachable.
A manager at Montclair, who preferred to be identified only by his first name Vincent, however called back and said “from the hotel side, we have no information about a change in ownership. If it is happening, we are yet to be told.”
RTG corporate communications and innovations manager Pride Khumbula declined to comment.
“We have no comment on the matter,” she said.
RTG however issued a cautionary statement on Thursday confirming the group was acquiring a business in the tourism industry.
“The Board of Directors of Rainbow Tourism Group Limited wishes to advise all shareholders and the investing public that the Company is currently engaged in negotiations for a potential transaction involving the acquisition of a complementary business. If successfully concluded, the transaction may have a material effect on the price of the company’s securities,” announced company secretary Tapiwa Mari.
“Shareholders are therefore advised to exercise caution and to consult their professional advisers when dealing in the company’s securities until finalisation of the aforementioned matter.”
This acquisition would fulfil one of the 2023 projections made by the group chairperson in March, in a commentary accompanying the company’s financial statements for the year ended 31 December 2022.
“The Board is considering various options that are designed to increase value for shareholders such as the following; expansion of the Group’s hotels portfolio in carefully selected areas around Zimbabwe. A focus on technology and digitisation through the activation and expansion of the Gateway Stream mobile application. A focus on expanding the Group’s reach in the tourism value chain through investment in the tour operations and Heritage Expeditions Africa,” said Douglas Hoto.
He added that the group was focusing on disciplined, profitable growth that would enable the company to invest in the future while providing an acceptable return to shareholders.