A Lebanese commercial bank has been commissioned to find buyers for the posh Four Seasons Hotel Beirut and Movenpick Hotel Beirut, which are partly owned by the chairman of Kingdom Holding Co., Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
A source familiar with the case told The Daily Star that the financial arm of the local bank had been instructed to conduct due diligence long before the prince’s arrest.
“The bank is supposed to complete due diligence in one month or less. Once due diligence is completed, the results will be announced to the public,” the source said.
The reasons for the sale of Prince Alwaleed’s assets in Lebanon were not disclosed. The two five-star hotels are among the key assets of the Saudi-based Kingdom Holding Co. in Lebanon.
It is not the first time recently that the company has decided to divest itself of some of its international hotels.
In September, Kingdom Holding Co. sold its 90-percent stake in Malaysia’s Four Seasons Resort, located in Langkawi, to Leisure Ventures – an affiliate of Singapore’s Hotel Properties – for $90 million.
There were reports that the Four Seasons Hotel Beirut could be sold for $110 million, a price far below the real value of the landmark, 300-room hotel. However, the source stressed that the asking price for the hotels would be established after the completion of due diligence.
The bank will receive a commission upon the completion of the transaction, the source added.
On November 4, Saudi Arabia announced the arrest of the billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed, along with at least 10 other princes, four ministers and tens of former ministers on charges of corruption.