(Bloomberg) -- The sale by the U.K.’s billionaire Barclay twins of London’s Ritz Hotel fetched less than 800 million pounds ($997 million), according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.
Macfarlanes said in a statement that it advised one of its private Qatari investor clients on the acquisition of the hotel that opened in London’s Mayfair in 1906.
“It is a privilege to become the owner of the iconic Ritz Hotel and have the opportunity to build on its innate style and grand traditions,” a spokesperson for the new owner said in the statement.
The Ritz, which occupies a prime frontage in London’s St James’ district, is at the heart of a spat among the heirs of David and Frederick Barclay. The dispute became public last month after a court hearing that revealed Frederick Barclay was being secretly recorded by a nephew at the hotel.
A representative for Ellerman Investments Ltd., an investment vehicle of the Barclay brothers that owns the hotel, declined to comment earlier.Public filings previously highlighted how David’s sons consolidated control of the five-star Ritz, while Frederick’s daughter Amanda has left the board. Aidan and Howard Barclay replaced Amanda and one of Frederick’s staff as directors across six Ritz businesses, including the hotel’s main U.K. holding company until filings released on Friday showed them stepping down.The 85-year-old twins are among Britain’s most discreet billionaires, known for a family compound on a tiny island off the U.K.’s southern coast. The two men have recently been considering offloading another of their prominent holdings, the Telegraph newspaper.The Ritz is the twins’ most valuable business, with the pair recouping many times over the 75 million pounds they paid for the hotel in 1995. Their other holdings include delivery service Yodel and online retailer Shop Direct, which has needed funding from the Barclay family to cover claims tied to Britain’s insurance mis-selling scandal.
The Ritz is being sold together with an adjoining property that offers the potential for an extension. The sales process kicked off prior to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, ensuring bidders were able to inspect the property before travel restrictions were imposed.
Still, some sellers of prime real estate have persisted with sale plans amid the uncertainty, betting luxury hotels in the best locations will have an enduring appeal to investors even in volatile periods.
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