The famous InterContinental Hotel in Nairobi’s city centre might never resume operations, even as the owners put up movable assets for auction.
Among the assets put up for sale include vehicles, bedsheets, televisions, carpets, and kitchen equipment.
The owners, who were close allies of former President the late Daniel Moi want to lease the building that housed the hotel or convert it into a mixed-use property.
“Duly instructed by Kenya Hotel Properties (KHP) we shall sell the undermentioned goods belonging to the former InterContinental Hotel located off Parliament road through a public auction,” said Garam auctioneers.
The management closed InterContinental Hotel Nairobi in April 2020 after the government announced stringent measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 including the ban on social gatherings and air travel.
Before the wake of Covid-19, the 389-bed hotel was facing financial constraints with a debt of over Ksh717 million as of December 2018.
The debt was revealed in 2019 by Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC) Chief Executive Mr Jonah Orumoi in a letter dated February 7, 2019 to his Privatization Commission counterpart Joseph Kosgey.
In the letter, Orumoi said that KHP was technically insolvent since it could service its debts, owed to Stanbic Bank.
In August 2020, the hotel made public plans for permanent closure due to the uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With regard to the InterContinental Nairobi, we have conducted a thorough review of all options available We are considering the question of whether, and when the Hotel might reopen; or whether we should now surrender the tenancy de-flag and permanently close the Hotel and hand back the property to the landlord, ” the management said in August 2020.
Sovereign Group is the largest individual local investor in the hotel with a 19.2 percent stake while Development Bank of Kenya has a 12.99 percent stake.
Joshua Kulei, the late President Daniel Moi’s former private secretary, Rodger Kacou, and Ahmed Jibril own a combined stake of less than one percent in the firm.
The InterContinental Hotels Corporation Group, which is listed in both the UK and the US, has a 33.8 percent stake in the hotel group.