PARIS: Kingdom Holding, the investment vehicle owned by Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has sold its 33.3 percent stake in Swiss hotel group Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts to its associate firm AccorHotels.
“Together with its partners, (Kingdom Holding Company) has signed an agreement to sell Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts (MHR) to AccorHotels where KHC is also an investor,” the company said in a statement on Monday.
AccorHotels confirmed it had agreed to buy Mövenpick for 560 million Swiss francs ($567 million), with the purchase expected to be completed in the second half of 2018.
Kingdom Holding owns a 5.7 percent stake in AccorHotels. The investment company’s shares, listed on the Saudi stock exchange, closed 0.33 percent lower.
“With the acquisition of Mövenpick, we are consolidating our leadership in the European market and are further accelerating our growth in emerging markets, in particular the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific,” said AccorHotels Chairman and CEO Sébastien Bazin.
"By joining the Group, it will benefit from AccorHotels’ power, particularly in terms of distribution, loyalty-building and development.”
Founded in 1973 in Switzerland, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts operates in 27 countries with 84 hotels, including a strong presence in Europe and the Middle East.
Kingdom Holding is rumored to have sold its shareholding in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut earlier this year, according to a Reuters report citing “sources.” The company did not respond to a request for comment.
Prince Alwaleed was one of several senior Saudi businessmen and government officials detained last year as part of a wide-ranging anti-corruption drive. He was released in late January.
Kingdom owns stakes in several high-profile international companies including Citigroup, Twitter, Apple, Twenty-First Century Fox, and US-based ride-sharing app Lyft.