Marriott made an announcement last week that it had signed a letter of intent to acquire Cape Town, South Africa, based Protea-hotel chain.
This acquisition would give Marriott total of 116 properties of which most are located in South Africa and some in Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.
Based on the Marriott’s press release, it appears that the Protea brand is here to stay just like the AC brand in Spain and neighboring countries that Marriott partly purchased in 2011.
The parties expect the negotiations to conclude in 2013 and the deal to close in early 2014.
I have been to South Africa few times, but never stayed at Protea chain hotels, but have at Southern Sun (Protea’s local rival) owned Holiday Inn that has since been reflagged.
There are some Hilton, Hyatt, IHG and Starwood affiliated hotels in South Africa, where Marriott currently has no presence.
If the purchase goes through, I would imagine that we can start earning and using Marriott Rewards points at Protea hotels in second quarter of 2014.