The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) approved the acquisition of Fairmont The Norfolk and Fairmont Mara Safari Club by Chaudhary Group, a conglomerate led by Nepalese billionaire and Member of Parliament (MP) Binod Chaudhary.
The deal is worth an estimated Ksh2.8 billion, and adds to the company’s hospitality assets in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The richest man in Nepal according to Forbes, Chaudhary’s net worth is estimated at $1.7 billion (Ksh185 billion). He has interests in banking and finance, hospitality, distribution, consumer goods and more.
His Chaudhary Group completed the buyout of the luxury hotels from Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal.
“It is notified that the Competition Authority of Kenya has approved the proposed acquisition of control of Kingdom 5-KR 185 Limited by Madison Hotels and Resorts Limited,” the CAK wrote in a gazette notice published on Friday, November 13.
Bin Talal is said to be strategically divesting from the hotel business. He was among high-profile Saudi Arabian officials arrested in a corruption probe in 2018.
Already, he has sold Four Seasons Damascus in Syria and Four Seasons Beirut in Lebanon.
With interests in leading global hotel chains, Bin Talal has an estimated net worth of $20.4 billion (Sh2.1 trillion) according to Bloomberg.
Chaudhary Group listed the two hotels among its properties soon after the deal was approved.
They add 170 guest rooms and suites, 51 luxury tents and about 10 food and beverage outlets to the multinational’s hospitality business.
According to sources, the group is likely to undertake renovation of the two new properties in Kenya.
In March, Fairmont the Norfolk closed its doors and sent home all employees, citing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.