London’s luxury hotel, The Ritz, has been sold to an unnamed Qatari investor for a rumoured £750m, as the feud between its family owners rumbles on.
The 115-year old hotel, which closed its doors on Friday 27 March for the first time in its history, was acquired by an undisclosed Qatari investor in a deal advised by London-based firm, Macfarlanes.
It has been owned by Sir Frederick and David Barclay since 1995, who bought the business for £75m.
A spokesperson for the new owner, who remains anonymous, 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 sale has prompted Frederick Barclay to threaten legal action as the feud over the family’s billions in assets deepen. Earlier this year their battle was thrust into the spotlight as a court heard that David’s son, Frederick’s nephew, had set up secret recordings of conversations that happened in the conservatory of The Ritz.
Frederick later said he would sue the family of his twin brother if the luxury hotel was ever sold for less than £1bn.
A spokesperson for Frederick told The Financial Times said: “We are surprised and perturbed by the announcement that the Ritz hotel has allegedly been sold.
“We have neither consulted nor have we approved thissale. As we outlined earlier this month, any potential purchaser will face significant litigation if this deal is not approved by all sides.”
David’s two sons, Aidan and Howard, control the Barclay empire as directors of Ellerman Investments Ltd, the holding company of the family’s UK assets.