Dubai's Al Habtoor Group buys Le Meridien
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 05:56 GMT
Dubai conglomerate Al Habtoor Group has acquired Le Meridien Budapest, a five-star hotel in Hungary, its chairman announced Monday.
The acquisition of the 218-bedroom property brings the number of hotels under Al Habtoor Group’s ownership to ten, Khalaf Al Habtoor said in a statement.
The firm, one of the UAE’s biggest family businesses, did not give a value for the sale but in a February interview with Arabian Business, Al Habtoor confirmed he was in talks to buy a €60m (US$80m) hotel in the European city.
“We are in the finishing [stages] of taking over a hotel property in Budapest, Hungary. Hopefully, I think by the end of March all will be finalised. It’s a five-star hotel in the best place in Budapest… it’s around €60m,” he said.
The acquisition comes a week after Al Habtoor Group signed an agreement with US-based Starwood Hotels and Resorts to open three of its hotels - St Regis, W Dubai and The Westin Dubai Sheikh Zayed Road - at its new US$1.3bn resort in Dubai.
The conglomerate in January unveiled plans to demolish one of Dubai’s oldest hotels and redevelop the area into a tourism complex. The firm said it would knock down the 34-year old Metropolitan Hotel and build three luxury hotels and a string of tourist attractions, including a theatre to stage Broadway-style shows.
Al Habtoor said in February that the firm has been actively looking to acquire hospitality assets in Europe. The group is in talks with French officials regarding the sale of a hotel in Paris, he added.
“I have been contacted and told there is a hotel [for] sale but I don’t have the details yet. It’s in Paris, possibly a four-star hotel,” he said.
Al Habtoor has used his hotel, engineering and auto businesses to amass a fortune worth at least US$2bn, Bloomberg reported in April.
In 2007, Habtoor sold a 45 percent stake to Australia’s Leighton Holding for US$707m.