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Qatar acquires control of five InterContinentalhotels in Europe

Qatar Investment Authority is acquiring joint control of a group of luxury hotels in five European cities including the Carlton InterContinental in Cannes and Amsterdam’s Amstel InterContinental.

The Qatari sovereign wealth fund’s Katara Hospitality unit is also taking joint control of InterContinental hotels in Frankfurt, Madrid and Rome, according to a notice on the European Commission’s competition authority website. The hotels are managed by and will continue to be jointly controlled by the U.K.’s InterContinental Hotels Group Plc.

Qatar has used proceeds from the world’s third-largest gas reserves to snap up trophy stakes in companies including Volkswagen Ag, Tiffany & Co. and Harrods department store in London. Katara, which bought Le Royal Monceau in Paris in 2012, plans to more than double its properties by 2030 and was in talks to buy “iconic” hotels in London and Rome, Chief Operating Officer Christopher RJ Knable said last year.

Ghanim Bin Saad, a former chief executive of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. was looking for buyers for seven European hotels, including Madrid’s Hotel InterContinental, newspaper Expansion reported last June, citing people with knowledge of matter.

The merger notice didn’t provide further details.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 17, 2014, on page 4.

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