London's famed Savoy hotel has a new stake holder: the state of Qatar.
Bloomberg reports that Katara Hospitality, which is directly owned by Qatar's government, bought a 50-percent stake stake in the Savoy from Lloyds Banking group. Kingdom Holding, owned by Saudi billionaire prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, owns the rest of the property.
The Savoy first opened in 1889, and reopened in October 2010 after a $360-million renovation that took about 30 months.
Katara Hospitality is directly owned by Qatar's sovereign-wealth fund, and is on the hunt for "iconic" properties in London and Rome. These acquisitions are part of the company's plan to more than double its property portfolio by 2030. According to Arab News, this transaction also serves to strengthen the bond between the government of Qatar and prince Alwaleed Bin Talal. Katara also owns a 35 percent stake in Fairmont Raffles Holdings International Hotels Company in partnership with the Qatar Investment Authority.
Earlier this month, Katara proposed the development of a 1,000-plus-room property near Doha, Qatar. According to Multi Housing News, the Silver Pearl Hotel would be built for $1.6 billion, and would consist of two semicircular 30-story towers connected through a climate-controlled atrium. The entire complex will be supported by piers to allow water to flow beneath it.
Doha News reported that the hotel is being built for the 2022 World Cup, which will be hosted in Qatar. Currently, the hotel does not have a definitive location.