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Tourism Promotion Services restructures to include Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar in its operations


Nairobi, Kenya, 20 March 2006 - TPS Eastern Africa Limited (TPSEAL), was officially listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) today following the success of its recent share exchange offer for Tourism Promotion Services Limited (TPSL). TPSL, previously quoted will shortly be de-listed from the NSE, paving the way for TPSEAL to be the only Kenyan listed company in the tourism and hospitality sector with a presence in Kenya, mainland Tanzania and Zanzibar island. This follows the successful re-structuring of TPSEAL which merged its interests in Kenya (held through TPSL) with those in Tanzania and Zanzibar in a move towards regionalisation and the diversification of investment.

The share offer, which remains open until 16 th April 2006, allows TPSL’s current minority shareholders to exchange their existing shares for new shares in the regional holding company (TPSEAL), thereby enabling 8,684 local investors to share in the regional expansion of the group. Tourism Promotion Services, which owns and operates Serena Hotels, now will operate not only in Kenya but also in both Tanzania and Zanzibar. In December last year, each TPSL shareholder was offered 1.35 shares in TPSEAL for each ordinary share held in TPSL. As of now TPSEAL holds almost 95% of the shares of TPSL, and up to 16 th April 2006 TPSL shareholders still have time to accept the share swap.

TPSEAL shareholders also include International Finance Corporation (IFC), CDC Group plc and National Social Security Fund ( Tanzania). Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) and its related companies own a controlling interest in TPSEAL.

AKFED’s overarching goal is to promote sustainable tourism by building and managing hotels and lodges that contribute to the long-term development potential of a country and region. The Fund also brings with it human resources, international and local technical know-how, and management, marketing and financial expertise, thereby creating a partnership among local institutions and individuals, multilateral development agencies and development banks. Through the listing of TPSEAL the Fund is encouraging the development of Kenya’s capital markets and is providing liquidity to its long-term investment partners IFC and CDC.

“The long-term vision of Serena has been to create a truly regional East African tourism business,” said Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Serena Hotels’ Managing Director. “In doing so, we are promoting the tourism sector and generating much needed foreign exchange for the region. We are making conscious efforts to provide employment, develop and improve local artisan skills, and ensure that the local “mwananchi” has access to growth potential throughout the region,” he said.

AKFED’s involvement in tourism development in East Africa first took place under the aegis of Tourism Promotion Services (TPS), established in Kenya in the 1970s when Serena safari lodges and hotels came to be recognised as leaders in quality, service, architecture and ecological responsibility. This initiative was later extended to Tanzania, with safari lodges and luxury tented camps in world renowned national parks and a hotel in Zanzibar’s historic Stone Town.

For the third straight year Serena Hotels was named the best company in the hotels category in the 2005 East Africa’s Most Respected Company Awards. Serena also scooped three awards for its properties at the prestigious Wold Travel Awards 2005 and has been nominated in various categories for the 2006 awards.

Over the past three years, Serena Hotels has undertaken major investments in quality improvements as well as in important acquisitions that have strengthened its foothold in the region. In Kenya, the TPSEAL group owns the Nairobi Serena Hotel, Mombasa Serena Beach Hotel as well as the following Safari Lodges: Amboseli Serena, Mara Serena, Samburu Serena and Kilaguni Serena. The company has also entered into long term management agreements for Serena Mountain Lodge and Sweetwaters Tented Camp.

In Tanzania, the TPSEAL group owns the Ngorongoro Serena, Serengeti Serena, Lake Manyara Serena and Kirawira Tented Camp. Management contracts are in place for Mountain Village, Arusha and Mbuzi Mawe Tented Camp. In Zanzibar, the Company’s interests include the Zanzibar Serena Inn and the Mangapwani Serena Beach Club.

“We believe that the share swap will be of great benefit to all shareholders as it will provide a broader and more diversified base of revenues which will hopefully also lead to a more stable share price,” said IFC’s Kenya representative Jean Philippe Prosper . “ In its 50th anniversary year, the IFC is proud to be associated with TPSEAL and the AKFED Group with which we share the values of private sector sustainable development.”

For more information, please contact:
Mr John McHaffie
Alexander James & Associates
Tel: 7122464; 0734 707935
E-mail: mchaffie@africaonline.co.ke

Mr Mahmud Janmohamed
Managing Director
Serena Lodges and Hotels
Website: www.SerenaHotels.com

Notes:
Serena Hotels operate 25 hotels, resorts and safari lodges in Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Mozambique, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. The group has been present in East Africa since the early 1970s.

AKFED is a for-profit international development agency that seeks to create economic capacity and opportunity in specific regions of the developing world. Its companies have been present in Eastern Africa since 1936, expanding into Central and West Africa over the following decades. Active in the fields of industry, financial services, tourism development, infrastructure, media and aviation in 19 countries across South and Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, AKFED operates as a network of affiliates with more than 100 separate project companies employing over 18,000 people and controlling assets in excess of US$1.5 billion.

The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) was founded by His Highness the Aga Khan, 49th Hereditary Imam (spiritual leader) of the Ismaili Muslims. It is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East. The Network’s nine development agencies, which include AKFED, focus on social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion. The AKDN’s underlying ethic is compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its annual budget for philanthropic activity is in excess of US$300 million.

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