Saudi investor sells Four Seasons hotel stake after chairman jailed

Four Seasons Hotel Beirut, image courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts.(Image: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts)

Saudi Arabian investor Kingdom Holding sold its shares in the Four Seasons Hotel Beirut to a Saudi businessman. The deal, completed in December, totaled approximately $100-115 million, with debt. 

The investor put its stake in the hotel on the market in November 2017. Kingdom Holdings set a goal to sell them by the end of the year. 

Sources told Reuters that the company planned the sales for a long time, and were not connected to the arrest of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, chairman at Kingdom Holdings, in an anti-corruption crackdown from the Saudi Arabian government. The government jailed several other princes, ministers and former ministers as part of the crackdown. The Kingdom chairman has been detained for more than two months. He is currently negotiating a possible settlement on the charges.  

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The Four Seasons management company will continue as the hotel operator. Meanwhile, Kingdom Holding is also in talks to sell its stake in Beirut's Mövenpick Hotel, also in the city. Lebanon's Blom Bank subsidiary, Blominvest, advised Kingdom on the Four Seasons sale and continues to advise the firm in the Mövenpick deal. 

Kingdom Holding is in the process of divesting in other assets across the MENA region in line with its current business strategy. Sources told Reuters these sales are also unlinked to the prince's arrest. The nephew of Saudi King Salman owns stakes in several international firms, including Citigroup, Twitter, Lyft and Time Warner. He is also the grandson of the kingdom's founder, King Abdulaziz al-Saud, and the grandson of Riad al-Solh, Lebanon's first prime minister after it gained independence from France.

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