Hotels

The Ritz sold to Qatari investors

Iconic hotel The Ritz has been sold to an unnamed Qatari investor by the billionaire twins Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay for an undisclosed sum.

The news comes as the hotel announced its closure for the first time in its 114 year history last Friday (27 March). In a statement the hotel said: Following various press reports, we can confirm that The Ritz London has been acquired by a private Qatari investor. The hotel will remain closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“As soon as it is safe, the new ownership together with the hotel’s team look forward to reopening the revolving door, and to the next chapter of Piccadilly’s iconic Grande Dame hotel. In the meantime, the new owners have confirmed their wish that all employees continue to receive their full salaries during this period of forced closure.”

The new owner was advised on the sale by law firm Macfarlanes.

A spokesperson for the new owner said “It is a privilege to become the owner of the iconic Ritz Hotel and have the opportunity to build on its innate style and grand traditions.

“During this Covid-19 crisis, our first priority is towards the staff of The Ritz, who together are the essence of The Ritz’s 115 year old reputation. Once this pandemic has passed, we look forward to re-opening the hotel and to sharing our longer-term plans.”

However, the deal is not without contention as a spokesperson 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,” the spokesperson told the Financial Times. “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.”

The news comes in the  middle of a legal feud  between the Barclay brothers’ families after a court heard Sir Frederick had private conversations recorded by his twin brother’s son in the Ritz hotel in London.

Frederick, 85, and his daughter Amanda claimed Sir David’s three sons were “parties” to the secret recording of their private conversations in the conservatory of the hotel, which the Barclays own.

The high court heard yesterday that the children of Sir David and Sir Frederick are in a serious disagreement about the family trust, and the quarrel has “pitched cousin against cousin”.§

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