Cauris Management invests in West African hospitality group Azalaï Hotels


West African private equity firm Cauris Management has agreed to invest CFA4bn (€6m) in Azalaï Hotels to fund its expansion programme in the region.

The company operates six hotels in Benin, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau and Mali.

Since its inception in 1994 in Mali, the group has expanded its presence into four countries through the opening or acquisition of hotels with between three and five star ratings.

The firm invested via its Fonds Cauris Croissance vehicle and is funding Azalaï Hotels’ expansion into new countries, mainly Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Conakry and Senegal.

The construction phase of the hotel in Côte d’Ivoire will begin as soon as January 2013, for an opening planned for late 2014, it said.

Cauris Investment, the first fund managed by Cauris Management, invested in the group in 1998, to finance the construction of a hotel in Mali as well the start of a regional expansion. The firm later exited in 2006.

“After a first positive experience, we think it is important to support Azalai Hotels in its development program, especially now that it is about completing the regional mapping and strengthening the profitability of a group composed of very seasoned professionals.

“The hospitality sector is a difficult one to operate in globally, but it is rewarding as it also creates much needed jobs,” said Noel Yawo Eklo, CEO of Cauris Management.

Cauris Management has been active in West Africa, for over 15 years. It has invested in 42 companies and exited 35 – in sectors as diverse as agribusiness, financial services, hospitality, telecoms, consumer goods, and downstream oil and gas.

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