Saudi Billionaire Takes $46m Loan From Lebanese Banks
Saudi billionaire Prince Al Waleed Bin Talal secured loans worth $46 million from a group of banks in Lebanon on Wednesday to finance the completion of the Movenpick Resort and Marina in Beirut, reported The Daily Star.
The resort, located on the seafront between Ramlet al-Baida and Raouche, is expected to open in May 2002. The seven-year loan was arranged by Banque Audi, Banque Libano-Francaise and Lebanon Invest, according to the report.
Prince Alwaleed, chairman of Kingdom Holding Company, acquired full control of the Movenpick project, which is expected to cost between $100 and $143 million, two years ago. It will include a marina for 147 boats, a 280-room 5-star hotel and 72 luxury chalets. Most chalets have already been sold.
Alwaleed bought a 50 percent stake in the Merryland Pour Les Projets Touristiques in late 1997 before taking over the whole project in 1999 with the intention of turning it into a Movenpick-managed hotel and resort.
The prince, whose mother is a Lebanese, is one of the world’s largest hotel investors, with big holdings in the Four Seasons chain, and Fairmont in addition to Movenpick. And he’s a powerhouse in media, too, with giant stakes in AOL Time Warner and Disney, as well as Italy’s Mediaset, Germany’s Kirch Media, Arab Radio and Television, and Australia’s News Corp – Albawaba.com