Chairman and CEO of French hotel operator AccorHotels Sebastien Bazin attends the group's general meeting in Bagnolet near Paris on April 20, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / ERIC PIERMONT
Chairman and CEO of French hotel operator AccorHotels Sebastien Bazin says the agreement to buy Movenpick Hotels will accelerate the operators growth in emerging markets. Eric Piermont / AFP

Kingdom Holding to sell Movenpick stake to AccorHotels



Kingdom Holding, the Riyadh-listed company controlled by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, and its partners have agreed to sell Movenpick Hotels and Resorts to AccorHotels for 560 million Swiss francs (Dh2 billion) in cash.

The sale to Accor, in which Kingdom owns a 5.8 per cent stake, is expected to be finalised in the second half of this year, the company said in a statement to Saudi Stock Exchange, where its shares are traded.

The transaction implies a 14.9 times 2019 estimated earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation multiple before synergies, including transaction costs, AccorHotels, which operates several brands in 100 countries, said in a separate statement.

The deal will have an accretive impact on group earnings from the first year and the acquisition will help in “consolidating” the company's presence in European markets and will further accelerate “our growth in emerging markets, in particular in the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific”, Sebastien Bazin, the chairman and chief executive of Euronext-listed AccorHotels, said.

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Read more:

Prince Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding sells stake in Malaysia's Four Seasons

Saudi prince Alwaleed to invest $800m in Egypt hotels

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The sale of Movenpick is the first transaction this year by the billionaire prince’s investment conglomerate since he was released in late January, following a sweeping anti-corruption drive in Saudi Arabia last year.

The sale is in line with the company's strategy which has sold over 20 assets in emerging markets since 2010. In 2017 Kingdom Holding sold its 90 per cent interest in Malaysia's Four Seasons Resort for around $90m. The company has also off loaded its stake in the Beirut's Four Seasons property for around $100m-$115m including debt, according to a Reuters report. The firm has also sold the Four Seasons in Damascus, the Financial Times reported in March.

Founded in 1973 in Switzerland, Movenpick operates in 27 countries with 84 hotels, and has a strong presence in Europe and the broader Middle East region.

Alwaleed, who is among the most prominent businessmen in the world’s biggest exporting nation, was detained last year as part of Riyadh’s anti-corruption crackdown, but was released from Ritz-Carlton hotel in the capital on January 27. He was among 200 Saudi businessmen, high-ranking government officials and ministers who were detained as part of the crackdown.

Alwaleed's investment firm owns stakes in global companies such as Citigroup and Twitter.

Prop idols

Girls full-contact rugby may be in its infancy in the Middle East, but there are already a number of role models for players to look up to.

Sophie Shams (Dubai Exiles mini, England sevens international)

An Emirati student who is blazing a trail in rugby. She first learnt the game at Dubai Exiles and captained her JESS Primary school team. After going to study geophysics at university in the UK, she scored a sensational try in a cup final at Twickenham. She has played for England sevens, and is now contracted to top Premiership club Saracens.

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Seren Gough-Walters (Sharjah Wanderers mini, Wales rugby league international)

Few players anywhere will have taken a more circuitous route to playing rugby on Sky Sports. Gough-Walters was born in Al Wasl Hospital in Dubai, raised in Sharjah, did not take up rugby seriously till she was 15, has a master’s in global governance and ethics, and once worked as an immigration officer at the British Embassy in Abu Dhabi. In the summer of 2021 she played for Wales against England in rugby league, in a match that was broadcast live on TV.

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Erin King (Dubai Hurricanes mini, Ireland sevens international)

Aged five, Australia-born King went to Dubai Hurricanes training at The Sevens with her brothers. She immediately struck up a deep affection for rugby. She returned to the city at the end of last year to play at the Dubai Rugby Sevens in the colours of Ireland in the Women’s World Series tournament on Pitch 1.

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre, six-cylinder

Transmission: six-speed manual

Power: 395bhp

Torque: 420Nm

Price: from Dh321,200

On sale: now

Veil (Object Lessons)
Rafia Zakaria
​​​​​​​Bloomsbury Academic

Our legal advisor

Rasmi Ragy is a senior counsel at Charles Russell Speechlys, a law firm headquartered in London with offices in Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong.

Experience: Prosecutor in Egypt with more than 40 years experience across the GCC.

Education: Ain Shams University, Egypt, in 1978.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

Director: Jon Watts

Stars: Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon 

Rating:*****

Key products and UAE prices

iPhone XS
With a 5.8-inch screen, it will be an advance version of the iPhone X. It will be dual sim and comes with better battery life, a faster processor and better camera. A new gold colour will be available.
Price: Dh4,229

iPhone XS Max
It is expected to be a grander version of the iPhone X with a 6.5-inch screen; an inch bigger than the screen of the iPhone 8 Plus.
Price: Dh4,649

iPhone XR
A low-cost version of the iPhone X with a 6.1-inch screen, it is expected to attract mass attention. According to industry experts, it is likely to have aluminium edges instead of stainless steel.
Price: Dh3,179

Apple Watch Series 4
More comprehensive health device with edge-to-edge displays that are more than 30 per cent bigger than displays on current models.

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Elmawkaa
Based: Hub71, Abu Dhabi
Founders: Ebrahem Anwar, Mahmoud Habib and Mohamed Thabet
Sector: PropTech
Total funding: $400,000
Investors: 500 Startups, Flat6Labs and angel investors
Number of employees: 12

Honeymoonish

Director: Elie El Samaan

Starring: Nour Al Ghandour, Mahmoud Boushahri

Rating: 3/5

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Power: 110 horsepower

Torque: 147Nm

Price: From Dh59,700

On sale: now

if you go

The flights

Air France offer flights from Dubai and Abu Dhabi to Cayenne, connecting in Paris from Dh7,300.

The tour

Cox & Kings (coxandkings.com) has a 14-night Hidden Guianas tour of Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. It includes accommodation, domestic flights, transfers, a local tour manager and guided sightseeing. Contact for price.

Scores

Oman 109-3 in 18.4 overs (Aqib Ilyas 45 not out, Aamir Kaleem 27) beat UAE 108-9 in 20 overs (Usman 27, Mustafa 24, Fayyaz 3-16, Bilal 3-23)

MATCH INFO

AC Milan v Inter, Sunday, 6pm (UAE), match live on BeIN Sports

Avengers: Endgame

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Hemsworth, Josh Brolin

4/5 stars 

Meydan racecard:

6.30pm: Handicap | US$135,000 (Dirt) | 1,400 metres

7.05pm: Handicap | $135,000 (Turf) | 1,200m

7.40pm: Dubai Millennium Stakes | Group 3 | $200,000 (T) | 2,000m

8.15pm: UAE Oaks | Group 3 | $250,000 (D) | 1,900m

8.50pm: Zabeel Mile | Group 2 | $250,000 (T) | 1,600m

9.20pm: Handicap | $135,000 (T) | 1,600m

Our legal consultants

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

MEYDAN CARD

6.30pm Maiden Dh165,000 (Dirt) 1,600m

7.05pm Conditions Dh240,000 (D) 1,600m

7.40pm Handicap Dh190,000 (D) 2,000m

8.15pm Handicap Dh170,000 (D) 2,200m

8.50pm The Entisar Listed Dh265,000 (D) 2,000m

9.25pm The Garhoud Sprint Listed Dh265,000 (D) 1,200m

10pm Handicap Dh185,000 (D) 1,400m

 

The National selections

6.30pm Majestic Thunder

7.05pm Commanding

7.40pm Mark Of Approval

8.15pm Mulfit

8.50pm Gronkowski

9.25pm Walking Thunder

10pm Midnight Sands

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League, semi-final result:

Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona

Liverpool win 4-3 on aggregate

Champions Legaue final: June 1, Madrid

Usain Bolt's World Championships record

2007 Osaka

200m Silver

4x100m relay Silver

2009 Berlin

100m Gold

200m Gold

4x100m relay Gold

2011 Daegu

100m Disqualified in final for false start

200m Gold

4x100m relay Gold

2013 Moscow

100m Gold

200m Gold

4x100m relay Gold

2015 Beijing

100m Gold

200m Gold

4x100m relay Gold

How it works

1) The liquid nanoclay is a mixture of water and clay that aims to convert desert land to fertile ground

2) Instead of water draining straight through the sand, it apparently helps the soil retain water

3) One application is said to last five years

4) The cost of treatment per hectare (2.4 acres) of desert varies from $7,000 to $10,000 per hectare 

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

Scoreline

Liverpool 3
Mane (7'), Salah (69'), Firmino (90')

Bournemouth 0

LOVE AGAIN

Director: Jim Strouse

Stars: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sam Heughan, Celine Dion

Rating: 2/5


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