Bill Gates could afford the penthouse suite at any Four Seasons Hotel around the world, but he might have the option going forward of having any suite and amenity he wants. For free.
Gates’ investment firm, Cascade Investment LLC is taking over control of the entire Four Seasons Hotel company, as Gates scratched a check for roughly $2.21 billion to take over the shares owned by Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.
Now Cascade owns a cool 71.3% of the company which has a valuation of $10 billion after the transaction.
The ownership group is primarily a two man team, as Prince Alwaleed still owns 23.7% according to a story by Reuters.
An ironic twist to this story is back in 2018, Prince Alwaleed and dozens of other senior officials and royal family members in Saudi Arabia were held captive in a Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was part of an anti-corruption crackdown by the new leader of Saudi Arabia.
The Four Seasons currently has 121 Five-Star properties around the world, and another 50 on the drawing board in some status of development.
The hotel industry is a volatile business to be in right now, though some large cities, including New York City are starting to show some signs of improvement after being decimated by the pandemic.
The Four Seasons was founded by Isadore Sharp back in 1960. He’s going to hold on to 5% of the company, which is a smart move since that is valued north of $110 million.