LAGOS, July 19 Nigerian conglomerate Transcorp
plans to invest around $110 million to expand its
hotel network in Africa's biggest economy as it seeks to tap
into a growing market for business travellers, its chief
executive said on Saturday.
New hotels are springing up across Africa, despite
bureaucratic delays and poor infrastructure, to take advantage
of an increasing number of tourists and business travellers,
serving a growing middle class.
Obinna Ufudo told Reuters the hotel, which will be managed
by the Hilton group, will house 100 rooms and located in
an upmarket district of Ikoyi in the commercial capital Lagos.
"We have concluded all designs ... what we are waiting for
is the approval from the state building authority to commence
construction," Ufudo said. He said he expected the project to be
completed in 36 months.
Industry executives say that as consumer spending stalls in
developed markets, more multinationals are betting Africa's
growth will eventually translate into meaningful revenue if they
can negotiate the considerable regulatory and infrastructure
challenges of doing business there.
Transcorp has one hotel already managed by Hilton in Abuja,
Nigeria's capital city.
Shares in Transcorp gained 33 percent this year, after
rising 314 percent in 2013.
Ufudo said the conglomerate, which also has interest in
power, oil and gas, would invest $90 million to upgrade the
generation capacity of its power plant to 715 megawatts from 463
Transcorp was one of several firms to win bids last year to
buy government power assets sold as part of a privatisation
meant to end decades of blackout in Africa's most populous
(Reporting by Oludare Mayowa; Editing by Chijioke Ohuocha)