By Linda Hall •
Published: 06 Dec 2023 • 16:30
BROWN’S HOTEL: Part of the Rocco Forte hotel empire
Photo credit: CC/Anthony O’Neil
SAUDI ARABIA is continuing to increase its high-profile investment presence in the UK.
The country’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has acquired a 49 per cent holding in
Rocco Forte Hotels, putting a £1.2 billion (€1.4 billion) value on the luxury chain which
owns the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh and Brown’s in London.
Millionaire hotel tycoon Sir Rocco Forte and his sister, Olga Polizzi, retain a 51 per cent stake in the company where they remain in their present posts as executive chairman and deputy chairman.
Forte has four other sisters who are selling their shares, while Italy’s sovereign wealth fund, CDP Equity, is selling its 23 per cent stake to PIF, which is headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Rocco Forte Hotels was founded in 1996 and owns 14 hotels, the majority of which are located in Italy, including three in Rome and three in Sicily.
As the company expects to double in size over the next five years, Forte described PIF as “an excellent partner” for the future, implying that these plans would include expansion into the Middle East. Meanwhile Saudi Araabia is also looking to attract more tourism to the Gulf state.
Referring to the Saudi sovereign wealth fund and the hotel chain, Forte said the two had established “extremely good relations” during their negotiations.
“They share the same vision for the brand and the future strategy of the group with the same ambition to take a long-term view,” Forte said.
PIF’s other UK assets include Newcastle United and the second-largest holding in Aston Martin.
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Originally from the UK, Linda is based in Valenca and is a reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering local news. Got a news story you want to share?
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