Capital hotel group to buy Fairmont Zimbali Resort in R240m deal
The luxurious Fairmont Zimbali Resort on KwaZulu-Natal’s north coast is likely to open its doors as The Capital Zimbali in September, after a R240m deal with The Capital Hotels and Apartments.
The Capital Hotels and Apartments has been confirmed as the business rescue practitioner’s preferred bidder for the resort, with the deal likely to be completed once conditions precedent - including Competition Commission approval - have been met.
The Fairmont Zimbali Hotel went into voluntary business rescue in September last year.
At the time, its owners said the prolonged lockdown, “the longest in the world to date with limited support from government”, had eroded its revenue base.
The Capital group will invest R30m in an extensive renovation and refurbishment project on the 18-acre property, located in the heart of the exclusive Zimbali Coastal Resort eco-estate.
“The Capital Hotels and Apartments has built its portfolio of hotels by investing in the market at times when others would not, by identifying suitable distressed properties to add depth and value to our mix of business and leisure offerings,” said The Capital Hotels and Apartments MD Marc Wachsberger.
He said the Fairmont Zimbali Resort was an iconic landmark on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast and a destination of choice for SA's domestic leisure market, as well as conference organisers.
“We are looking forward to welcoming guests to the property in September, once the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines has made domestic travel more appealing, and the country is beyond the anticipated third wave of the pandemic.”
Economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Ravi Pillay welcomed the news of a deal that will save dozens of jobs at the establishment.
We expect visitor numbers to start increasing, especially during the Easter season.KZN tourism MEC Ravi Pillay
“We are delighted with this development, especially because 143 jobs will be saved as part of the process. What is even more interesting is that the potential buyer is planning a multimillion-rand investment in the establishment. This means more jobs may be created as part of that process.”
Pillay said the deal augurs well for the province's economic recovery efforts.
“The tourism sector was one of those hardest hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. This is why it is one of the sectors we will be focusing on as we double efforts to recover the economy across sectors”.
Pillay said as there were encouraging signs of recovery in the tourism sector, it was even more important to adhere to all the safety protocols meant to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“We expect visitor numbers to start increasing, especially during the Easter season. While we encourage domestic visitors to explore our province, we are equally working hard to limit the spread of the virus. We encourage both the establishments and visitors to adhere to all the safety protocols.”