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Katara Hospitality is ready to take the majority of Fairmont Raffles International

In an interview with Financial Times, Christopher Knable, Operations Managers at Katara Hospitality, an offshoot of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund, has made clear its willingness to buy out Colony Capital Fairmont Raffles International, becoming the majority shareholder.

In 2005, Colony Capital which is associated with Prince Al Waleed's Kingdom Holding took control of the Fairmont Raffles International hotel group (the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissotel brands). In 2010, the sovereign fund of Qatar entered the circle of owners by taking a 40% stake (nearly $ 850 million) through the Voyager Partners dedicated fund, leaving Kingdom Holding with 35% and Colony Capital with 25%share.

Since then, the Qatari funds have gradually increased in power by taking an additional 5% to its partners. Meanwhile, Qatari investors have invested directly in facilities managed by Fairmont Raffles International, buying the Raffles in Singapore or the Royal Monceau in Paris.

A new stage is about to be reached as reported by Christopher Knable, Chief Operating Officer of Katara Hospitality, which is in talks with Colony Capital to take over all or part of its interest and thus cross the threshold of 50% share.

To manage its hotel investments, Qatar would have complete control over a leading global operator. However, in an opportunistic manner that does not prevent the leaders of the Emirate to sign management contracts with other operators when the market can bear it as with Hyatt Hotels & Resorts for French institutions bought with Starwood Capital (Palais de la Mediterranee, Martinez, Hotel du Louvre and the former Concorde Lafayette).

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