Qatar takes $847 million stake in Fairmont Raffles

RIYADH Mon Apr 5, 2010 5:30am EDT

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RIYADH (Reuters) - Affiliates of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund have paid $847 million for a stake in hotelier Fairmont Raffles Holdings International from Kingdom Holding 4280.SE, to become the biggest shareholder in the group.

Kingdom Holding said in a statement that Fairmont Raffles had agreed to sell 40 percent of its capital to Cayman Islands-based Voyager Partners Ltd and Qatari Diar, which is owned by the Qatar Investment Authority.

Kingdom Holding did not say whether the stake involved new or existing shares in Fairmont Raffles Holdings.

The relationship between Voyager Partners and Qatari Diar could not be immediately clarified and neither party was immediately available for comment.

Raffles Fairmont would use the money to fund current and future expansion and Kingdom, 95-percent owned by billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed, would see its stake fall to 35 percent from 58 percent after the deal, Kingdom added.

Kingdom Holding, a main shareholder in Citigroup Inc (C.N), posted a net profit of 156 million riyals ($41.60 million) in the fourth-quarter, following a 30.98 billion riyal loss a year earlier.

It said on January 5 that it would cut its capital by 41 percent, a move analysts said was aimed at wiping out accumulated and unrealized losses which reached 65 percent of its capital at the end of the third quarter of 2009.

($1=3.750 Saudi Arabian Riyal)

(Writing by Ulf Laessing, Editing by Thomas Atkins and Simon Jessop)

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