Transactions - NOVEMBER 7, 2018

Qatar agrees to buy London’s Grosvenor House Hotel

by Andrea Zander

Sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority has agreed to buy Grosvenor House Hotel in London’s Mayfair. The price was not disclosed.

An official statement has not been released.

The seller was private U.S. investor Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which acquired the five-AA-star, 494-room hotel in 2017 for £550 million ($723 million).

The Grosvenor House Hotel was built in the 1920s on the site of Grosvenor House, was the home of the Grosvenor family (better known as the Dukes of Westminster) for more than a century.

Qatar Investment Authority is buying the hotel via its Katara Hospitality holding.

The acquisition is part of Qatar Investment Authority’s plan to diversify the wealth it accumulates from gas and oil exports.

The Qatari fund also owns London’s luxury Savoy and Connaught hotels, the Harrods department store and the Shard, London’s tallest skyscraper, as well as luxury hotels across the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. In July it paid $600 million for the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

This week, Qatar Investment Authority named Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman to chairman and president as part of restructuring its board. In addition, HE Ali Sharif Al Emadi was named a member, as were HE Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari, HE Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi, HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud Al-Thani, HE Dr Hussain Ali Al Abdulla,and HE Nasser bin Ghanim Al Khulaifi.

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