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A Qatari investor has agreed to purchase the iconic London hotel The Ritz Hotel for a reported £750 million in a deal that has further inflamed tensions between members of the Barclay family.
The sale was announced on the same day that the hotel shut its doors for the first time in over a century due to the COVID-19 outbreak, after several months of negotiations and a bitter family feud between Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay, who acquired the premises for £75 million in 1995.
Last month, Sir Frederick, along with his daughter Amanda, launched legal action against Sir David’s sons and grandson for allegedly bugging the hotel conservatory in an effort to listen in to conversations related to the family’s business dealings.
In a rare public statement, Sir Frederick indicated that he had received “a number of competing offers” for the premises in excess of £1 billion and a sale below that price would lead to “further litigation”. While the sale price has not been formally disclosed, reports have suggested that the total sum is less than £800 million.
A representative for Sir Frederick told the Financial Times: “We are surprised and perturbed by the announcement the Ritz hotel has allegedly been sold. We have neither been consulted nor have we approved this sale… As we outlined earlier this month, any potential purchaser would face significant litigation if this deal is not approved by all sides. Sadly we cannot get away from the fact that this deal, if it has occurred, appears to have been pushed through in the middle of the coronavirus crisis in the hope that it will be uncontested.”
A spokesperson for Ellerman investments, one of the vehicles behind the assets of the Barclay family, said: “The buyer is committed to investing in The Ritz and its staff for the long-term, ensuring a bright future for this unique asset. We also note that neither Sir Frederick nor Amanda Barclay have any relevant legal interest which would allow them to disrupt the sale.”
The case remains before the courts.
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.
Photo copyright Edwardx, CC BY-SA 2.0