Saudi Arabia’s multi-billion pound public investment fund (PIF) has bought a near 50 per cent stake in Sir Rocco Forte’s luxury hotel chain and the new partnership is already rolling out plans to double the size of the chain in the Middle East.
The sale is thought to value the hotel chain at around £1.2bn.
As part of the deal the Forte family will retain majority ownership and control but the arrangement sees the Italian entity CDPE Investimenti (CDPEI) selling its entire stake.
Forte and his sister Olga Polizzi will continue to lead the business as deputy chairman and retain a 51 per cent stake in the business.
The PIF will inject millions into the firm over the coming years to expand its presence in the middle eastern markert
Turqi Al Nowaiser, deputy governor and head of international investments division at PIF, said: “Our investment in Rocco Forte Hotels reflects PIF’s confidence in both the commercial opportunity and strength of the international hospitality and tourism industries that have shown remarkable resilience in recent years.
“As active long-term investors, PIF will continue to invest strategically in promising sectors to achieve sustainable returns globally.”
Sir Rocco Forte, executive chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, added: “PIF is an excellent partner for us going forward. We have established an extremely good relationship during the course of our negotiations.
“They share the same vision for the brand and the future strategy of the group with the same ambition to take a long-term view. I look forward to working with PIF to expand the group and improve the high level of service we offer our customers.”
Forte’s family, including the beauty and skincare entrepreneur Irene, will remain in key roles in the business.