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Saudi wealth fund to buy stake in luxury hotel chain Rocco Forte

Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund will buy a “significant” minority stake in luxury hotel group Rocco Forte Hotels and expand into various markets, the owner of the UK’s Balmoral hotel said on Monday.

Founders Rocco Forte and his sister Olga Polizzi will remain as executive chairman and deputy chair, respectively, it said, adding that the Forte family will retain majority ownership and control.

PIF’s purchase of a 49% stake in the hotel group valued it at about 1.2 billion pounds, the FT reported earlier, citing people familiar with the details.

“PIF is an excellent partner for us going forward… 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,” Chairman Forte said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Rocco Forte Hotels declined to confirm the size of PIF’s stake.

Rocco Forte Hotels, founded in 1996, and operator of some of Europe’s most iconic properties has 14 individual hotels and resorts as well as 20 private villas across Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and Russia.

Italian investor CDPE Investimenti will sell its entire shareholding as part of the deal.