The Ritz Hotel in London has been sold to a private Qatari investor for £800m ($997m) — significantly less than the £1bn price tag the owners had wanted for the luxury venue.
Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay acquired the Mayfair, central London, hotel in 1995 for £75m.
The deal, announced late on Friday night with limited detail, has reportedly further inflamed a bitter feud in the billionaire Barclay family.
The dispute became public last month after a court hearing revealed Sir Frederick was being secretly recorded by a nephew at the hotel.
Sir Frederick previously said there was "no place for any sale at less than full value," and warned he would sue his relatives over the deal to offload the legendary hotel at a cut price.
It is with great sadness that we have taken the decision following the Government’s advice, to temporarily close The Ritz London, the first time in our history. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will reopen our doors.— The Ritz London (@theritzlondon) March 25, 2020
Please take great care of yourselves.
Sal & The Ritz Team pic.twitter.com/5Vp4TCjUQL
News of the sale came on the same day that the coronavirus pandemic forced the hotel shut its doors for the first time in its 113 year history of service to the world’s royalty and elite.
In a statement, Macfarlanes said it had advised one of its private Qatari clients on the acquisition of the hotel that first opened in 1906.
“It is a privilege to become the owner of the iconic Ritz Hotel and have the opportunity to build on its innate style and grand traditions,” the new owner said in the statement Friday.
The Ritz was sold together with an adjoining property that offers the potential for an extension. The sales process kicked off prior to the outbreak of the new coronavirus, ensuring bidders were able to inspect the property before travel restrictions were imposed.