SA’s Anthony Leeming-led Sun International Finalizes $14.4M Exit from Nigeria

Sun International Limited, run by South African entrepreneur Anthony Leeming, has agreed to sell its Nigerian interests to Rutam Finance Company Limited (RFC) for roughly $14.4 million.

The move is part of Sun International’s strategy to consolidate operations and focus on key markets. Sun International joined the Nigerian market in 2009, but has struggled in recent years due to a challenging operating climate. This divestiture is consistent with the company’s strategic objectives and represents a shift in portfolio management.

Sun International, led by Anthony Leeming, will sell a 43.3 percent ownership investment in Tourist Company of Nigeria PLC (TCN), which manages Lagos’ Federal Palace Hotel, to RFC for $1.875 million.

In addition, the group would pay off its whole $12.675 million credit to RFC, effectively exiting the Nigerian market. The corporation also intends to sell its remaining 6% ownership in TCN in due course.

The transaction, subject to customary closing conditions including as regulatory approvals, is estimated to create a cash inflow of about $14.41 million for Sun International. These funds will be utilized to reduce debt.

Following the completion of the acquisition, TCN will no longer be included in Sun International’s financial statements. This will reduce group debt by about $41.82 million, excluding IFRS 16 lease liabilities.

The closing is scheduled for no later than May 28, 2024, provided that all usual closing conditions are met. The Nigerian Competition Authority, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Nigerian Stock Exchange have all provided key clearances.

Sun International, founded in 1968 by the late Sol Kerzner, has grown into a renowned gaming and resort company under Leeming’s leadership. In fiscal 2023, the company’s revenue increased by 7% to $646.14 million, while headline earnings increased by 86 percent to $55.35 million.

This demonstrates Sun International’s resiliency and strategic direction. Sun International’s pullout from Nigeria demonstrates the company’s dedication to streamlining its portfolio and pursuing growth possibilities in key areas.

With a rich history and a focus on the future, this transaction demonstrates the company’s commitment to create wealth for shareholders and stakeholders while also strengthening its position in the gaming and hospitality industries.

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