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Bernie Ecclestone is richest hospitality investor

27 April 2006
Bernie Ecclestone is richest hospitality investor

Formula One mogul Bernie Ecclestone is the UK's richest hotel investor, according to the Sunday Times Rich List 2006.

Ecclestone, who owns the 16-bedroom boutique Hotel Oden in Gstaad, Switzerland, topped the poll with a personal net fortune of £2.24b, making him the 13th richest person in the country.

He was followed by oil and Highland Spring water tycoon Mahdi al-Jahir, who owns the Sheraton Park Tower hotel in London and is worth £2.2b.

Others on the list include property entrepreneur Simon Halabi, the owner of the In and Out club in Piccadilly, London (£2b); Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, owners of London's Ritz hotel (£1.8b); and Richard Caring, owner of the Ivy and Le Caprice restaurants (£500m).

Hotel consultant Michael Hirst said it showed there was money to be made in the industry. "People like Caring are astute and when they buy into a hospitality business they think it through carefully," he said.

Robert Barnard, partner at accountancy firm PKF, said the figures also showed a trend for trophy assets in the sector. "Investors are attracted to the long-term strength of these properties," he said.

By Tom Bill

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