Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank
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Stanbic Bank
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Stanbic Bank
Stanbic Bank

Aya’s Pearl of Africa Hotel re-advertised for sale by auction

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Simon Kabayo
Simon Kabayohttps://eagle.co.ug
Reporter whose work is detailed

Armstrong limited, the auctioneer has re-advertised the sale of AYA Investment Uganda’s Pearl of Africa Hotel for sale by auction following failure by the proprietor to pay the money being demanded.

“Upon instructions from the High Court of Uganda (Commercial Division), we shall proceed to sell the property together with all thereon by public auction pursuant of to a warrant of attachment and sale issued by High Court unless the judgment Debtor pays us the entire outstanding decretal sum (including interest) before the fall of the hammer at the auction,” Armstrong Limited stated.

The property comprises a 5 Star Hotel spanning 32,000 square meters with 23 floors, 296 rooms, 37 suites, 2 restaurants, 3 bars, 9 meeting floor executive lounges and a business centre with all top class 5 star amenities.

The auction started in 2021 where the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Ltd attempted to seize the hotel to recover a debt of $118 million but court issued an order restraining the South Africans from going on with the seizure process.

The money in demand is part of the financing contract signed between AYA Investment and the South IDC to finance the construction of a hotel in 2007 in Nakasero, Kampala. AYA Investment says IDC made it hard for them as it delayed the disbursement of the money to them, which allegedly also resulted in delay of the project completion.

AYA also cited disputes with Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) on what taxes to pay but also admitted that it was going to be tough completing the construction in time, especially due to Uganda’s landlocked nature.

Further, in 2017, AYA Investment entered into another deal with a Belgium-based hotel company, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group (now Radisson Hospitality) in January 2017. However, this was short-lived as Radisson withdrew six months later. It was replaced in September of the same year by a South African hotel brand, Sovereign Hotels on a short-term basis to oversee the opening the following month.

American group, Wyndham Hotels, and Resorts, then was hired by AYA boss Muhammed Hamid, in 2018 to manage the hotel, but this did not go far. The hotel has been trading as WIN 5 Hotel & Spa since February this year. The branding has since changed from Pearl of Africa to Win 5, amidst reports that the Libyan foreign investment firm, LAICO has taken the majority holding of the hotel.

Many companies including meat processing company Fresh Cuts and Sanlam General Insurance have in the past claimed that Aya Hotel was yet to settle outstanding debts with them.

In 2018, KCCA threatened to close the hotel over failure to pay local hotel tax that had accumulated to almost Shs34 million whereas power distributor, UMEME was at one time demanding over Shs800 million from the hotel.

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