Qatar could become majority shareholder of Fairmont Raffles Hotels
Qatar’s Katara Hospitality which owns hotels such as Raffles Singapore, Royal Monceau Raffles Paris or Excelsior Gallia Milan, is in talks to buy US-based Colony Capital’s stake in Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, the privately held hotel group, according to a report by FT.com.
Voyager Partners, a Cayman-registered fund, alongside Qatari Diar, that bought the original 40 per cent stake in Fairmont Raffles Holding in 2010 after agreements worth $847m. As part of the 2010 deal, state-backed Qatari Diar promised to provide management contracts to Fairmont for a number of the group’s hotel brands. Qatar also took over the iconic Raffles Singapore hotel.
The deal left Kingdom Holding, the investment group of Saudi Arabia’s Prince Waleed bin Talal, with a stake of 35 per cent in Fairmont, and US private equity firm Colony Capital with 22 per cent. A person familiar with the company said Qatar now owns 45 per cent of Fairmont, with the remainder shared equally between Kingdom and Colony. The new transaction would probably see Qatar buy Colony’s stake of more than 20 per cent in Fairmont, with Kingdom Holdings retaining its stake. The deal has not closed yet and the EU is looking at it to see if there are antitrust issues, the person said.
Tom Barrack, Colony’s founder, has close ties to Qatar, having sold the Paris Saint-Germain football team to Qatari investors in 2011. In April last year, Qatar’s sovereign fund agreed to acquire Smeralda Holding, owner of luxury resorts in Sardinia, from Colony, for about $1bn.