McCaysville GA – June 25, 2015 (hospitalitybusinessnews.com) According to a report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) the owners of FRHI Hotels and resorts, which includes Fairmont, Raffles and Swisshotel, have put the company on the market. The Company operates 116 hotels, 44,000 rooms, in about 34 countries.
In it’s article the WSJ states that the Toronto-based company is owned by a Qatari government fund and Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Company and that the two firms have hired Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley to market the company.
Fairmont Hotels started in 1907 with the opening of the Fairmont San Francisco. In the latter part of the 1800’s as the Canadian rail road was being built across that country, Canadian Pacific added hotels to scenic locations along the route. As a result Canadian Pacific Hotels was formed, the owner of many of Canada’s greatest hotels such as The Banff Springs Hotel, Chateau Frontenac and The Royal York, to name a few.
In 1999 Canadian Pacific Hotels took over Fairmont and at the same time changed it’s name. The head office continued to be located in Toronto.
Kingdom Holdings is no stranger to high end hotels. They are a major shareholder, along with Bill Gates, in Four Seasons. For some time there have been questions about a merger between FRHI and Four Seasons, but nothing has ever happened.
Industry experts expect that FRHI could fetch up to $3 billion.