Finance: InterContinental Hotels leaves Nigeria after debt fallout with local partners


One of the biggest hotel chains is exiting Nigeria.

One of the biggest hotel chains is exiting Nigeria after the countries recession cause it to plunge into debt.

InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG) has decided to take the decision of leaving Nigeria after 4 years when it opened its first site in Nigeria because of disagreement over debt with local partners.

The 358-room hotel in Lagos, Nigeria will as of Thursday, January 18, 2018, no longer operate as InterContinental-branded property said the IHG’s director of African operations, Simon Stamper in an emailed statement on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

“We remain committed to Africa and continue operations in all our other properties across the continent as usual,” Simon said.

According to its website, the U.K. company IHG has 5,272 hotels worldwide with 785,544 rooms and owns brands including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza. The company’s other hotels in sub-Saharan Africa are in South Africa, Mauritius, and Zambia.

In May 2017, a Nigerian court ordered one of the lenders to the N30 billion ($83 million) InterContinental hotel, Skye Bank Plc, to take over the property from its owner Milan Group over debts of $29.8 million and N3.8 billion. IHG continued to manage the property, which then went into receivership.

The exit from Nigeria of the world’s third-biggest hotel chain follows that of Abu Dhabi-based telecommunications operator Etisalat, which gave up a 45 percent stake in its Lagos unit in June 2017 following the failure of talks about a loan repayment.

Companies have recently struggled in Nigeria which has just come out of the worst recession in more than two decades last year and has faced dollar shortages.