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Al-Fayed sold Harrods to Qatar Holding

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ngoshwe, May 8, 2010.

  1. ngoshwe

    ngoshwe JF-Expert Member

    May 8, 2010
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    Harrods sold to Qatar Holding for £1.5bn as Mohamed al-Fayed retires


    Sold...The Harrods store in Knightsbridge, London.
    Fayed invested £400m in Harrods, which was founded in 1840

    Harrods, the world famous department store, has been sold for more than £1.5bn to the Qatari royal family, Times Online can confirm.

    Mohamed al-Fayed, the Egyptian owner of the London landmark, will retire and hand over the reins to Qatar Holding – although he will stay on as honorary chairman.
    Qatar Holding was chosen because they would "maintain the traditions of Harrods", said Ken Costa, chairman of Lazard International - the investment bank advising the Fayed family trust on the deal.
    The Qatari prime minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr al-Thani, also the firm's chairman, promised to make the store "even greater and better".
    Given a short tour of the store by Fayed, the sheikh said he was "very happy with the transaction".

    "It's a historical place. I know it's important, not only for the British people but it is important for the tourism. What I can assure you is that Qatar Holding will do their best to upgrade this monument to make it even greater and better."
    He said the responsibility of owning "a very important monument" was a "heavy burden", and within three months the new owners would create a "road map" to make Harrods "more impressive".
    Asked if he had ever shopped at Harrods, he joked: "If the shop will have customers like me I don't think Harrods will make profit, but maybe if it's my wife, yes."
    Harrods attracted advances from Gulf-based suitors in the last two months, but Fayed initially offered them "two fingers" in a vehement refusal.
    "People approach us from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar. Fair enough, but I put two fingers up to them all," Fayed said last month.
    "It is not for sale. This is not Marks & Spencer or Sainsbury. It is a special place that gives people pleasure. There is only one Mecca."
    But today it was confirmed that the owner of Fulham football club has changed his mind.
    "After 25 years as chairman of Harrods, Mohamed al-Fayed has decided to retire and to spend more time with his children and grandchildren," Costa said.
    Costa said the Fayed family trust agreed to sell because Qatar Holding had "both the vision and financial capacity" to support the long-term growth of Harrods.
    Fayed "wished to ensure that the legacy and traditions that he has built up in Harrods would be continued", he added.
    The Egyptian has invested around £400m in the Knightsbridge icon to restore it to its former glory, including £75m for an Egyptian-themed escalator flanked by sphinxes.
    Qatar Holding, which handles investments for the Middle Eastern state's royals, will become the fifth owner of Harrods since its creation in 1840.
    It already has a stake in Sainsbury's and in Songbird Estates, which owns most of Canary Wharf.
    The firm hailed the acquisition as "truly magnificent" and a "privilege". Vice-chairman Dr Hussain Ali Al-Abdulla said: "Such a rare opportunity does not arise every day."
    Retiring...Mohamed al Fayed in the store.

    Mr Fayed, a native of Egypt, joined his two brothers to buy Harrods in 1985.
    His son Dodi died with Princess Diana in a car crash in Paris in 1997, and in recent years Mr Fayed has devoted much time and money to pursuing his claims that that the couple were the victim of an establishment conspiracy.
  2. Kapinga

    Kapinga JF-Expert Member

    May 8, 2010
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    I think jama kauza coz conservatives wamechukua nchi!