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El Corte Ingles sells 10 percent stake for 1 billion euros to former Qatari PM

Privately owned Spanish department store chain El Corte Ingles has sold a 10 percent stake for 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) to Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani, the former Prime Minister of Qatar.

El Corte Ingles said the shares will come from its treasury stock and that the purchase is a strategic one for its new investor, who will have a seat on the board of the food, clothing and household goods retailer.

Its majority shareholders are the descendants of Ramon Areces, who founded the company in the 1930s and turned it into one of Spain’s largest employers, and one of the biggest retailers in Europe.

With 14.2 billion euros of sales in 2013, El Corte Ingles has a diversified business range including insurance, information technology, travel booking and ticketing for concerts and theater, marketing to its store card holders.

El Corte Ingles, Abada

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