The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has approved the acquisition of Nairobi's 680 Hotel by Maanzoni Lodge and hospitality magnate Christopher Musau.
The move opens a new chapter for the three-star 680 Hotel that sits on 0.7 acres off Kenyatta Avenue and has, for decades, been a prime fixture in Nairobi's central business district.
The total cost of the transaction has not been revealed, but CAK indicated that the combined assets of the two parties last year stood at more than Sh1 billion.
"The proposed transaction involves the acquisition of the entire issued share capital in Mintea Corp (the target's parent company) and in Mayhouse (the target) by Maanzoni Lodge Ltd and Christopher Musyoka Musau, resulting in change of control," explained CAK in the notice.
The sale comes four years after UK property dealer Knight Frank began receiving bids for the sale of the Sentrim Hotel portfolio whose holdings include the 680 Hotel and Hotel Boulevard establishments in Nairobi.
The firm also owns the Royal Castle Hotel in Mombasa as well as tented camps and lodges under the Sentrim brand in Elementaita, Amboseli, Maasai Mara, Samburu and Tsavo National parks.
In the recently approved merger, Mr Musau, who owns Maanzoni Lodge, will acquire the entire issued share capital of Mayhouse Ltd which operates the Hotel 680 brand name and leases office and commercial space.
Manzooni Lodge sits on 28 acres off the Nairobi-Mombasa highway and has grown from just 64 rooms during its official opening in 2011 to more than 360 rooms.
Mr Musau was appointed chairman of the Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers in 2015 and has indicated in the past that he is looking to expand the Maanzoni brand into other counties and capitalise on conference tourism.
The latest transaction comes when the country's hospitality industry is undergoing significant realignments as operators adjust to the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Several hotels and tour agencies have closed their doors indefinitely, while others have been bought.
Investors have also scaled down construction of new establishments that were expected to come on stream in the past two years, but were derailed by the pandemic.
CAK also recently approved the acquisition of Golden Jubilee Ltd which owns and operates Upper Hill's four-star Crowne Plaza Hotel.
"The proposed transaction involves the acquisition of all of the issued shares in Golden Jubilee Ltd by Falcon NBO," said CAK in a separate regulatory filing.
"The acquirer's parent company is a fund focused on the hospitality sector within sub-Saharan Africa but with no presence in Kenya," said the regulator.
"Whereas the parties are in the same line of business, their activities do not directly overlap locally."