The country’s second largest eco-tourism outfit, Chobe Holding Limited, through its subsidiary Ker & Downey Botswana is negotiating the takeover of Dinaka Safaris in order to boost the company’s portfolio.
The Board of the listed tourism company announced this week that it had entered into negotiations, which if successfully completed, will result in Ker & Downey, acquiring the entire stated capital of Dinaka Safaris (Pty) Ltd. The transaction includes three property owning companies with common shareholding to Dinaka Safaris (Pty) Ltd.
No further information has been availed to the market, regarding the size of the transaction and the company’s goals with the investment. Jonathan Gibson the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was not available for comment as he was away on leave.
Dinaka Safari operates a Lodge situated on a 20 000 hectare private game ranch on the northern boundary of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR), according to the company’s website. Chobe currently operates the Chobe Game Lodge and has 44 percent interest in Lianshulu Lodge.
With an additional 3 star lodge targeting the mid to high end market, Garry Juma, Head of Research at Motswedi Securities, believes this will add value to Chobe and the business model fits perfectly into Chobe eco-tourism model. “In terms of its contribution to Chobe bottom line and market share, there is need to have more information, looking at the revenue from Dinaka and average occupancy levels”.
Juma is of the view that the transaction is a good acquisition for Chobe as it adds into its already existing portfolio. Chobe owns Chobe Properties, Venstell Pty Ltd, Caprivi Fly Fishing Safaris, Desert and Delta Safari, Chobe Farms, and the Booking Company.
The acquiring subsidiary has properties in prime locations that are well run establishments and fairly priced. The company’s portfolio includes: Shinde, Shinde Enclave and Kanana – tented camps in private concessions in the Okavango Delta, as well as Okuti – an ideally situated lodge within the renowned Moremi Game Reserve, according to the company profile. The company also operates the Footsteps camps which is in a remote part of the Okavango Delta and home to various safaris; Khwai Tented Camp, situated in a community-run concession on the eastern border of the Moremi Game Reserve and Linyanti Bush Camp which is situated on the banks of Linyanti Marsh in a private reserve which borders the western boundary of Chobe in the Chobe Enclave as well as Linyanti Ebony which is in a private concession on the banks of Linyanti Marsh which borders the western boundary of Chobe in the Chobe Enclave.
Chobe Holdings says tour operators who have infiltrated the overseas markets have demonstrated considerable enthusiasm to book these properties over those of some of competitors.
The proposed transaction comes hot on the heels of the tenders for the lease, utilization and management of Camp Okavango and Shinde Camp for non-consumptive tourism purposes. The concessions were signed subsequent to the financial year end February 2017.
The group says its latest investment will be subject to certain conditions precedent and may have a material effect on the Company’s securities. Of interest, Dinaka has a private airstrip. Ker & Downey owns and operates a fleet of private aircraft, under Safari Air.