Kingdom Holding Company announced the investment of $15 million in IFA Hotels & Resorts Company, a subsidiary of International Financial Advisors Company (IFA), which was listed in the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) on January 3, 2006. This deal falls within the existing strategic alliance between Kingdom Holding Company and IFA.
IFA as well has recently participated in the capital increase of Kingdom Hotel Investments Group (KHI), a subsidiary of Kingdom Holding Company which owns the majority stake, for the amount of $15 million and secured representation on the Board of KHI which is Chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and IFA is represented by its Chairman & Managing Director Mr. Jassim Al-Bahar.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal commented on the deal: “Our investment in IFA Hotels & Resorts further extends and strengthens our relationship with Mr. Jassim Al-Bahar and confirms again the continuous success of this strategic alliance with IFA.”
Mr. Jassim Al-Bahar stated: “We are pleased with HRH Prince Alwaleed’s investment in IFA Hotels and Resorts. This deal reflects HRH’s confidence not only in our Group but in the Kuwait Stock Exchange and constitutes the third investment in KSE by HRH as he previously invested in IFA and Kuwait Invest Holding Company. As for our participation in the capital increase of KHI Group this demonstrates our great confidence in the Group as well as sharing the vision of HRH in the hotel and resort industry.”
Al-Bahar added that he is “honored to be on the Board of KHI, the leading Group in the hospitality field in the Middle East and Africa. Furthermore, our joint investments reflect the success and the joint objectives of our strategic alliance with Kingdom.”
IFA Hotels & Resorts, a subsidiary of International Financial Advisors (IFA), is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading hospitality companies, with a market capitalization of US$1 billion and authorized capital of KD26 million and is engaged in the development of premier resorts and mixed-use hotels and tourism resorts projects throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Indian Ocean. Furthermore, IFA has recently acquired Moribo Leisure Limited of South Africa, a listed company in JSE, and will change its name to IFA Hotels & Resorts Limited in the first quarter of 2006. IFA Hotels & Resorts will also apply for listing in Dubai Financial Market (DFM) in the near future. It is noteworthy to mention that the International Financial Advisors (IFA) was the first Kuwaiti company to be listed in (DFM) in September 2005 and it is also listed in the Kuwait Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of US$2.5 billion.
IFA Hotels & Resorts is one of the largest investors on the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, with investments of US$1 billion. These investments consist of The Fairmont Palm Hotel & Resort, The Fairmont Palm Residence and The Fairmont Crescent Hotel & Resort on the Palm breakwater. IFA Hotels & Resorts also owns major stakes in the Four Season Beirut and the Lonrho Hotels portfolio in Kenya. IFA’s portfolio also includes Movenpick Hotel & Residence Laguna Tower Jumeirah Lakes Dubai, The Kempinski Alabadiyah Hills in Beirut the Sheraton Algarve in Portugal, the Zanzibar Beach Hotel & Resort, Tanzania, Zimbali Logde, Fairmont Zimbali Hotel & Resort, Zimbali Coastal Resort in South Africa and the recent acquisition of 80% of YOTEL who will build hotels in London Heathrow and London Gatwick in the summer of 2006 and in central London in 2007. IFA Hotels & Resorts is also considering further projects in the Indian Ocean and Asia.
Kingdom Holding Company is the leading company amongst the top largest Saudi companies and is a major Group whose investment portfolio includes strategic positions in international prominent companies covering various sectors such as banks, hotels, media, communications, technology, internet, construction and real estate, entertainment, agriculture and the luxury clothing retail business.
It is noteworthy to mention that the observers and specialists of the hospitality industry expect that the strategic alliance forged between KHI Group and IFA will lead to further joint projects resulting from the joint investment objectives of the two Groups.