BAS Aquires top hotel in South Africa

Analjit Singh during the signing of the deal

Analjit Singh of Leeu Collection and his family bought the prestigious Le Quartier Français in Franschhoek in the Cape Winelands, South Africa….reports Asian Lite News

Analjit Singh during the signing of the deal
Analjit Singh aks BAS, former chairman of the Doon School, celebrates the deal

“With Analjit’s introduction of new offerings and exciting luxury lifestyle contributions to Franschhoek, I feel confident and happy that he and his family are the right people to take Le Quartier Français to the next level,” said previous owner Susan Huxter. Huxter has offered to work closely and hand in hand with the new owners to achieve a smooth transfer.

An international investor of Indian origin, Analjit Singh (aka BAS) is the Founder Chairman of Max India Limited, with interests in life insurance (Max Life), health care (Max Healthcare), health insurance (Max Bupa) and senior living (Antara). Max India Group is renowned for service excellence and has successful joint ventures with some of the pre-eminent firms of the world, including Mitsui Sumitomo of Japan, Life Healthcare of South Africa and Bupa Plc of the UK.

“Le Quartier Français has always been about family. It is a very special place full of soul, happiness and above all else wonderful people,” she said. “Between us all we have 924 years of service with two generations working here. It is the people that make Le Quartier Français the special place it is. I feel it is the right time to pass on this sanctuary to a new family who will love it and treasure it. I also believe there lies an exciting time ahead for the Le Quartier Français team, a wonderful opportunity for them to grow and spread their wings and I will be watching from around the corner.”

Award-winning Executive Chef Margot Janse will also see to it that the magic continues at The Tasting Room with her cutting edge cuisine. She, along with the rest of the Le Quartier Français team, will ensure that the exceptional service and experiences continue to charm guests from around the world.

This latest acquisition forms part of Leeu Collection, the manifestation of owner Analjit Singh’s (aka BAS) vision for sophisticated escapes and unique wineland experiences, which comprises in the first phase, Leeu Estates, a 21 room, five-star luxurious boutique hotel and winery in the Franschhoek valley, and Leeu House, an exclusive and private five-star 12-room boutique hotel in the heart of the Franschhoek village, set for a phased opening from the last quarter of 2015.

According to BAS, the respected Le Quartier Français brand will be kept as is and for now only changes such as soft refurbishments and landscaping developments will take place. Further additions and alterations will be considered in 2016.

“I am passionate about South Africa, its energy and sense of place,” says Singh. Leeu means lion in Afrikaans as does Singh in Sanskrit. “This latest acquisition makes me excited because I love to be part of creating something special. The team involved in the Leeu Collection portfolio, headed by Hector de Galard, shares this excitement and is determined to create world-class experiences in a luxurious environment of which Le Quartier Français will form a part. This opportunity is a natural for us,” he said.

Mr Singh is the non-executive Chairman of Vodafone India and a Director on the boards of Tata Global Beverages and Sofina NV/SA, Belgium. He has recently served as Chairman of The Doon School. Analjit has also served as the co-chair of Prabodhan, a unique forum for facilitating closer and more effective engagement between European and Indian decision makers and opinion leaders.

A self-made entrepreneur, industrialist Analjit has received several prestigious awards, including Padma Bhushan, India’s second highest civilian honours; the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Service Category); the Golden Peacock Award for Leadership and Service Excellence; and Spain’s second highest civilian honour, the Knight Commander of the Order of Queen Isabella and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. He also serves as the Honorary Consul General of the Republic of San Marino in India.

Among his private businesses, Analjit has significant interests in real estate in India and lifestyle-related ventures in the Western Cape, South Africa, pertaining to viticulture, winemaking and hospitality. The activities centre around the Franschhoek valley and Riebeek-Kasteel in the Swartland region.