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IFC Investment in Protea Hotel Eliakim to Support Namibia’s Travel Industry


In Johannesburg:
Houtan Bassiri
Phone: +27-11-731-3179
E-mail: hbassiri@ifc.org


Windhoek, Namibia, August 28, 2008—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, today announced that it will invest in Protea Hotel Eliakim, a new hotel to be built in Windhoek that will help meet the growing demand for quality accommodation in Namibia’s capital.

United Africa Group, a Namibian company, will use IFC’s $10 million loan to build the five-star, 124-room hotel in Freedom Square, an exclusive and prime location in central Windhoek. A portion of the loan will be denominated in rand and structured using the swap market to mitigate foreign exchange risk.

The hotel will have extensive conference and event facilities, helping attract more business to the downtown area. It will benefit from a mixed-use complex comprising retail stores, offices, and apartments that will be developed simultaneously at the same location by a related company.

“The Protea Hotel Eliakim will revitalize the city’s downtown area and help meet the demands of business and leisure travelers looking for high-quality accommodation in Windhoek,” said Haddis Tilahun, United Africa Group’s Executive Director. “The hotel will be Namibia’s flagship accommodation, providing luxurious African hospitality in a modern setting.”

“IFC is committed to encouraging long-term partnerships with clients to help them expand their businesses, become successful, and contribute more to economic development,” said Mike Tiller, IFC Senior Manager in Sub-Saharan Africa. “This transaction will help United Africa create jobs and opportunities in an important sector of Namibia's economy.”

The project is IFC’s second with United Africa Group. In 1998, IFC financed the group’s first hotel, Protea Hotel Ondangwa, also in Namibia.

About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, fosters sustainable economic growth in developing countries by financing private sector investment, mobilizing private capital in local and international financial markets, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. IFC's vision is that people should have the opportunity to escape poverty and improve their lives. In FY07, IFC committed $8.2 billion and mobilized an additional $3.9 billion through syndications and structured finance for 299 investments in 69 developing countries. IFC also provided advisory services in 97 countries. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.