Prince Al­waleed bin Talal’s Beirut ho­tels up for sale

The Daily Star (Lebanon) - - FRONT PAGE -

BEIRUT: A Le­banese com­mer­cial bank has been com­mis­sioned to find buy­ers for the posh Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Beirut and Moven­pick Ho­tel Beirut, which are partly owned by the chair­man of King­dom Hold­ing Co., Prince Al­waleed bin Talal.

The bil­lion­aire prince has been de­tained by Saudi au­thor­i­ties on sus­pi­cion of cor­rup­tion.

A source fa­mil­iar with the case told The Daily Star that the fi­nan­cial arm of the lo­cal bank had been in­structed to con­duct due dili­gence long be­fore the prince’s ar­rest.

“The bank is sup­posed to com­plete due dili­gence in one month or less. Once due dili­gence is com­pleted, the re­sults will be an­nounced to the pub­lic,” the source said.

The rea­sons for the sale of Prince Al­waleed’s as­sets in Le­banon were not dis­closed. The two five-star ho­tels are among the key as­sets of the Saudi-based King­dom Hold­ing Co. in Le­banon.

It is not the first time re­cently that the com­pany has de­cided to di­vest it­self of some of its in­ter­na­tional ho­tels.

In Septem­ber, King­dom Hold­ing Co. sold its 90-per­cent stake in Malaysia’s Four Sea­sons Re­sort, lo­cated in Langkawi, to Leisure Ven­tures – an af­fil­i­ate of Sin­ga­pore’s Ho­tel Prop­er­ties – for $90 mil­lion.

There were re­ports that the Four Sea­sons Ho­tel Beirut could be sold for $110 mil­lion, a price far below the real value of the land­mark, 300room ho­tel. How­ever, the source stressed that the ask­ing price for the ho­tels would be es­tab­lished af­ter the com­ple­tion of due dili­gence.

The bank will re­ceive a com­mis­sion upon the com­ple­tion of the trans­ac­tion, the source added.

On Nov. 4, Saudi Ara­bia an­nounced the ar­rest of the bil­lion­aire in­vestor Prince Al­waleed, along with at least 10 other princes, four min­is­ters and tens of for­mer min­is­ters on charges of cor­rup­tion. – The Daily Star

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