Saudi prince in talks to buy London's Savoy hotel

09 September 2004
Saudi prince in talks to buy London's Savoy hotel
Savoy: £200m price-tag
Quinlan Group, owner of the Savoy Group of hotels, has confirmed it is in discussions with Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and the Bank of Scotland regarding the sale of the Savoy hotel and Simpson's-in-the-Strand restaurant in London. Alwaleed is understood to be bidding about £200m for the hotel and has told Quinlan that he expects to appoint Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts to manage the property should the sale go ahead. The hotel will be Fairmont's first property in the UK, which it has been eager to break into for some time. Alwaleed battled against Quinlan to buy the whole of the Savoy Group when it was put up for sale earlier this year. Quinlan eventually won, paying £750m for the four-strong group of hotels. Chairman Derek Quinlan said: "The Savoy Group has performed exceptionally well since our acquisition and has exceeded our expectations. "However, the potential to sell the Savoy itself presents a logical opportunity to make an immediate return on our initial investment and allow us to focus on the development of other hotels in the group." Quinlan is also understood to be preparing to hand over management of Claridge's hotel, also part of the Savoy Group, to Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts. by Samantha McClary Buy this week's *Caterer* magazine for more industry news and analysis
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