The Qatari boss who launched its takeover bid

Oliver Smith
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Former QIA boss Ahmed al-Sayed
WHILE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani will likely be remembered as the chief executive of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) who successfully led the group to its takeover of Songbird, his predecessor Ahmed al-Sayed is credited with launching the QIA into battle with Songbird’s board and owners.

Al-Sayed handed over the role of chief executive to al-Thani and became an adviser to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, the current Emir of Qatar, a surprising move that came on the eve of the UK Takeover Panel’s bid deadline for Songbird in December, when the QIA boosted its offer from £2.2bn to the final £2.6bn.