KHC in $928m refinancing of UK hotel
Riyadh, April 30, 2013
Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), the investment company chaired by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, has completed the refinancing of top London hotel, The Savoy, capping a milestone event for a business worth over £600 million ($928 million).
The UK hotel recently underwent an historic physical restoration between 2008 and 2010, and has since been repositioned and stabilized for a long-term pre-eminent position in the London luxury hotel market, said a statement from KHC.
It was in 2005 when KHC, together with partner Prestonfield, an entity controlled by Bank of Scotland and which is now part of Lloyds Banking Group, entered into a 50/50 JV to acquire the legendary hotel, with funding by Bank of Scotland and hotel management by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
The Savoy was subsequently closed for nearly 30 months to carefully restore the hotel at a cost of £230 million, the first such time in its 125-year history, under an interior design vision by Pierre-Yves Rochon, who also restored the acclaimed Four Seasons Hotel George V in Paris.
Since the Savoy’s re-opening in late 2010, the Savoy has been recognized as one of the best hotels in the world by Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List and other leading publications.
Not only has the Savoy been beautifully restored, but the business has been successfully repositioned within a rapid period, attracting institutional capital in a challenging capital market from two leading European lending organizations to refinance the Bank of Scotland’s original senior debt.
Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank and DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale jointly provided a new five-year £200 million senior facility, with Prestonfield continuing to provide mezzanine financing and both Kingdom and Prestonfield continuing to own and ensure success of the landmark hotel on a 50/50 basis.
Commenting on the success, Prince Alwaleed said, "We were delighted in 2005 to have had the opportunity to acquire and restore one of the world’s most famous hotels, and nearly eight years later, we are proud to announce that along with our partners at Prestonfield, Bank of Scotland and Fairmont, we have firmly re-established the Savoy’s leading market position."
He called upon Kingdom's new lenders from Crédit Agricole CIB and DekaBank "to share in the future of this legendary hotel."
One of the world's iconic hotels and located in the heart of London’s most cosmopolitan areas, The Savoy has played host to royalty, world leaders and legends of the stage and screen since its opening in 1889, said a statement from KHC.
The 2010 restoration, the most ambitious in British history, re-positioned the classic Savoy hotel into a highly contemporary destination for business, pleasure and the most important events in London.
Today, the hotel boasts of a rooftop swimming pool, magnificent meeting space steeped in rich history, and 268 rooms and suites, many of which offer stunning views over the unique vista of the Thames and city of London, as well as some of the most well-known restaurants and lounges in London including the Savoy Grill, it added.
Adding to the already numerous destination venues at the hotel, the Savoy will be announcing two new exciting concepts from May, including the introduction of a glamorous new restaurant called Kaspar’s and launch of Savoy Pier, a private pier immediately behind the hotel where several luxury river yachts are available for hosting private parties, exclusive tours and spectacular events on the Thames.
The Savoy is also ideally surrounded by London’s top restaurants, Covent Garden pedestrian retail, world class museums, theatres and opera houses all just steps away, while each of the Mayfair and the City business districts are ideally located on either side of the hotel.-TradeArabia News Service