Saudi investors in talks to buy London’s Ritz hotel, says report

Barclay brothers said to want £750m for landmark property

The Ritz London hotel is seen in Piccadilly, London, Britain, October 10, 2019.  REUTERS/Toby Melville
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A private investment group representing wealthy Saudi Arabian families is reportedly in talks to buy London’s famous Ritz hotel.

Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay were reviewing interest from Sidra Capital in Jeddah, the Financial Times reported on Monday.

The Ritz, one of London’s most famous properties, has not changed ownership in 25 years.

The amount offered for the hotel is not known, but a financial source said the Barclays wanted at least £750 million.

The process to sell the five-star hotel has been under way for several weeks and several parties have expressed interest in it, the source said.

The sale was first discussed last year when the Barclay brothers announced a review of their business interests.

The five-star hotel has long been a symbol of high society and luxury. It opened in 1906 and was named after its developer, Cesar Ritz.

It has hosted a range of well-known figures, including comedy actor Charlie Chaplin and former prime minister David Lloyd George.

The Saudi group has had its eye on the British capital’s hotel sector, having lost a bid to buy Grosvenor House on Park Lane in 2018.

It already owns a string of properties in the UK, including Kinnaird House, near Trafalgar Square.

Sidra also has investments in buildings in Scotland on lease to Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second largest supermarket, and a Travel Lodge in London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5.

It also owns property in the US, the UAE and in the Netherlands, including 89 high-end villas that are part of the Living Legends project in Dubai.