Saudi hotel giant Kingdom to go public

02 February 2006
Saudi hotel giant Kingdom to go public

Billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal plans to float part of his hotel empire to help fund expansion in the Middle East and other growing markets.

Investors will be able to buy shares in Kingdom Hotel Investments, which has interests in 26 international hotels including Four Seasons and Movenpic properties.

The company has also just launched a bid to buy Canadian hotel group Fairmont for £2.2b, in conjunction with Raffles' hotel owner Colony Capital.

The initial public offering, which is expected to value Kingdom at around £563m, should generate £169m of money to fund expansion. It will be listed on both Dubai and London's stock exchanges.

It will also make the Prince a chairman of a publicly listed company for the first time.

The additional funds would be used to develop more properties in emerging markets such as Eastern Europe, South-east Asia and Africa.

A spokesman for Kingdom said neither the Prince, who owns a 74% stake of the company nor the minority shareholders intended to sell their shares in the flotation.

Fairmont saved from hostile takeover >>

By Emily Manson

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