Home GENERAL NEWS Serena Hotel owner TPS gets waivers from lenders

Serena Hotel owner TPS gets waivers from lenders

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Hospitality chain TPS Eastern Africa has received waivers from financiers that had lent it Sh2.5 billion after delays in refurbishing the company’s flagship Nairobi Serena Hotel affected its cash flow.

The lenders — French sovereign wealth fund Proparco, Barclays Kenya and Barclays Tanzania — have agreed to allow the Nairobi Securities Exchange -listed firm to reschedule the loan repayments.

Chief executive Mahmud Janmohamed told the Business Daily that the company received the waivers during and after the close of the financial year ended December when the breach of the debt terms occurred.

The long-term loans taken by TPS are Sh2 billion from Proparco, a total of Sh550 million from Barclays Tanzania and Sh970,000 from Barclays Kenya.

“Nairobi Serena Hotel extension and refurbishment is now planned for completion in second quarter of 2019,” TPS says in its latest annual report.

To comply with International Accounting Standards (IAS), the loan was reclassified as a current liability.

“Subsequent to the year end, the group has received a waiver from Proparco in relation to this breach; and so the parties are progressing discussions to reschedule the repayments of the Proparco loan in 2019.”

Barclays Kenya and Barclays Tanzania had by December 31, 2018 also issued waivers to TPS with regard to their combined long- term loans.

Earlier this year, Barclays Kenya approved the deferral of four quarterly loan repayments that were due to be made starting May 2019.

Barclays Tanzania is also set to take over a Sh20 million loan that Bank M Tanzania had provided to TPS’ subsidiary in Tanzania.

TPS says it is optimistic of the short to medium term prospects of the local and regional tourism industry.

The company recorded a 50 percent jump in net profit to Sh179 million in the year ended December, helped by a lower tax bill.

Its income tax expense fell 54.3 percent to Sh64.4 million from Sh141.2 million. The company’s past losses and new investments in its properties have made it possible to deduct taxes on future earnings.

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