Accor SA, Europe’s biggest hotel operator, plans to buy a 50 percent stake in South Africa’s Mantis Group as part of its expansion plans on the continent.

The Mantis transaction will add 28 hotels to the group’s portfolio that ranges from hotels and villas to luxury houseboats, Accor said Thursday. The Evry, France-based company sold off 55 percent of its real estate business for 4.4 billion euros ($5.4 billion) in February to fund the deal and further its growth in emerging economies.

“Mantis is a pioneer in customized, one-of-a-kind travel services in some of the most imaginative hotels across the world,” said AccorHotels Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Sebastien Bazin in a statement. “With this strategic partnership, we are reinforcing the group’s footprint in Africa.”

The deal still needs regulatory approvals, according to the company. AccorHotels currently operates more than 200 hotels in the Middle East and Africa and aims to open another 100 in the next five years to capitalize on the continent’s growing population and economy, it said.

Accor rose as much as 1.9 percent to 44.23 euros in Paris trading, the biggest intraday gain in more than five weeks.

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Photo Credit: Founder's Lodge in the Eastern Cape, part of the Mantis Collection. AccorHotels is taking a 50 percent stake in the parent company. The Mantis Collection