Bill Gates and a Saudi prince soon may count Four Seasons Hotels Inc. among their holdings.
Four Seasons’ board of directors (excepting those involved with the bid) voted unanimously to approve the sale last month; shareholders will vote on the $3.37 billion deal in April. If the sale goes through, the hotel group will be owned by affiliates of Cascade Investment LLC (a Bill Gates company), Kingdom Hotels International (financed by a trust benefiting His Royal Highness Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and his family), and Isadore Sharp, currently the Four Seasons’ CEO.
Sharp is expected to remain chairman and CEO of the company after the sale is finalized. He founded the company in 1978 with his family; today, Four Seasons manages 78 luxury hotels in 31 countries, with an additional 25 hotels under development. Billionaires Gates and Prince Alwaleed are two of the richest men in the world. Prince Alwaleed purchased Fairmont Hotels in conjunction with Colony Capital for $3.9 billion (including debt assumption) last year.
Additional sources: Reuters, HotelLawBlog.com