London : it buys Lloyds’s stake in the Savoy Hotel

Qatari State Fund ‘Katara’ in Europe is fast purchasing properties like here in London it is the Savoy. The five-star hotel is currently 50% owned by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding.

The Savoy, the five-star London hotel once frequented by Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe and Claude Monet, is now owned by the state of Qatar and one of Saudi Arabia’s richest men.

Qatar’s government-owned Katara Hospitality Co. bought a 50 per cent stake from Lloyds Banking Group and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co. owns the rest, Kingdom said in a statement today without providing a value for the transaction.

Katara Hospitality, owned by Qatar’s sovereign-wealth fund, is in talks to buy “iconic” hotels in London and Rome as it seeks to more than double its properties by 2030, Chief Operating Officer Christopher R.J. Knable said last year.

The country’s sovereign wealth fund made a joint bid this month for Songbird Estates Plc, which controls the Canary Wharf financial district in London.

The Savoy, located a short walk away from the north bank of the River Thames on The Strand, first opened in 1889.  It reopened in October 2010 after a 230 million-pound ($360 million) renovation that took about 30 months.  The hotel typically charges at least 365 pounds a night for a basic room.

Kingdom Holdings and the Qatar Investment Authority together own a 35 per cent stake in Fairmont Raffles Holdings International Hotels Co., according to the statement.


The Peninsula Hotel Paris

The Peninsula Hotel of Paris


In Paris : it is renovating The Peninsula Hotel

Qatar-based hotel developer and operator Katara, has announced that The Peninsula Paris hotel is set to open on August 1, following a restoration.

Katara hotel is carrying out the renovation of the property, located on Avenue Kleber in the French capital, adjacent to the Champs Elysees and the Arc de Triomphe, with partners Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels Limited.

The total construction budget for the project has been increased in 2013 from $401 million to $460 million, financed by a non-recourse project loan of $300 million.

“Our investment in The Peninsula Paris marks our commitment to the French market,” said Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, chairman of Katara Hospitality.

The architectural restoration of the property has been carried out by Richard Martinet of Affine architecture and interior design, with interiors designed by Henry Leung of Chhada Siembieda & Associates Ltd.

Katara has properties in Qatar, France, Switzerland, Egypt, Singapore and Thailand with others under renovation or in development in Italy, Morocco, Maldives, Gambia and Comoros.  The company aims to have 30 properties in its portfolio by 2016, with another 30 by 2030.

The hotel developer also recently signed an agreement with Starwood Group to operate the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan and has invested about $108.5 million for the remodelling and expansion of the Hotel Royal Savoy of Lausanne in Switzerland, set for completion by 2015.

Interior of The Peninsula Hotel Paris

The Peninsula Hotel Interior