Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund Acquires "Significant" Stake in Rocco Forte Hotels, Expands Global Presence

Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund Acquires "Significant" Stake in Rocco Forte Hotels, Expands Global Presence

By Staff Writer, 04 December 2023

Today, Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund is set to purchase a substantial minority stake in the prestigious Rocco Forte Hotels, as confirmed by the owner of the renowned Balmoral hotel in the UK.

Rocco Forte, the founder, and his sister, Olga Polizzi, will maintain key leadership positions within the luxury hotel group, continuing as executive chairman and deputy chair, respectively.

The Forte family will uphold majority ownership and control, ensuring continuity in the brand's legacy.

The deal, which values the hotel group at approximately £1.2 billion, involves the Public Investment Fund (PIF) acquiring a 49% stake, according to sources cited by the Financial Times.

The PIF's entry into Rocco Forte Hotels signifies a significant step into diverse markets.

Expressing optimism about the partnership, Chairman Forte stated in a released statement, "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."

Although a spokesperson for Rocco Forte Hotels declined to disclose the exact size of PIF's stake, the move is anticipated to fortify the hotel group's global presence and elevate its position in the luxury hospitality sector.

Established in 1996, Rocco Forte Hotels currently operates 14 distinctive hotels and resorts, along with 20 private villas across Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, and Russia.

As part of the agreement, Italian investor CDPE Investimenti will divest its entire shareholding in the hotel group.

The transaction reflects a strategic alignment with PIF's broader investment goals and underscores the attractiveness of Rocco Forte Hotels in the global luxury hospitality landscape.

Yadarisa Shabong / Reuters

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