Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi billionaire and chairman of Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding Co, is mulling a possible merger or IPO for the Four Seasons and Fairmont Hotels and Resorts hotel chains.
Prince Alwaleed, whose Kingdom Holding Co. took a 95% stake in the Four Seasons chain with Bill Gates, said in a US TV interview yesterday that he was considering strategic options for the two companies.
He said: "The hotel industry is facing major upside right now. This may go on another three or four years. So there is a zone of opportunity for us right now."
Alwaleed and Gates took Toronto-based luxury-hotel chain Four Seasons private in 2007 in a deal valued at $3.8b (£2.35b). The Saudi businessman led a group of investors, including Colony Capital LLC, in a $3.24b (£2b) takeover of Fairmont in 2006.
Alwaleed currently has a 35% stake in Fairmont after cutting his holdings from 58% two years ago to bring in new investment from Voyager Partners Ltd. and pave the way for an IPO, Alwaleed said at the time.
Fairmont has more than 60 properties globally, including the Savoy in London and Fairmont St Andrews in Scotland (pictured).
Four Seasons has 91 properties in 38 countries, including the Four Seasons Hotel New York in Manhattan and Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris.