Cascade Investment, from bill Gates, is taking control of the Four Seasons hotel group with the purchase of about half of the shares of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal for $2.21 billion, the operator said on Wednesday (8).
Cascade will buy 23.8% of the prince’s shares in the Four Season and will reach a 71.3% stake, valuing the hotel chain at US$ 10 billion.
The prince, through investment vehicle Kingdom Holding, will hold the remaining shares, the Four Season said.
While Prince owns shares in many companies, such as Citigroup and the Lyft app-transport platform, his investment firm has been selling shares in hotels for the past 10 years.
Prince Alwaleed was released in early 2018 after being detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh alongside several other royals, officials and businessmen amid an anti-corruption campaign in Saudi Arabia.
In an interview with Fox News later that year, the prince said his detention was forgiven and forgotten.
Kingdom Holding said it will use proceeds from the sale for future investments and outstanding loan repayments.
Cascade declined to comment beyond the statement. The company first invested in the Four Seasons in 1997.
The hotel operator manages 121 properties and has more than 50 projects underway.
Sharp will keep its 5% stake as part of the deal.