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InterContinental Hotels Group Exits Nigeria Over Loan Disagreement

InterContinental Hotels Group is withdrawing from Nigeria four years after it opened its first site in Africa’s most populous country following a disagreement with local partners over the terms of how to bring the property out of receivership.

The United Kingdom company’s 358-room hotel in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, will no longer operate as an InterContinental-branded property as of January 18, Simon Stamper, IHG’s director of African operations, said in an emailed statement on Wednesday. The company’s other hotels in sub-Saharan Africa are in South Africa, Mauritius and Zambia.

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

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 following the failure of talks about a loan repayment. Companies have recently struggled in Africa’s top crude producer, which came out of the worst recession in more than two decades last year and has faced dollar shortages.

A court last May had ordered one of the lenders to the N30bn ($83 million) InterContinental hotel, Skye Bank,  to take over the property from its owner Milan Group over debts of $29.8m and N3.8bn. Calls to the numbers on Milan Group’s website did not connect.

IHG has 5,272 hotels worldwide with 785,544 rooms and owns brands including Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, according to its website.

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