Detained Saudi billionaire prince sells stake in Beirut hotel
The business tycoon, who was among princes and ministers arrested in a so-called major anti-corruption sweep orchestrated by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and held at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, has reportedly sold the share for around $100-115 million including debt, sources told Reuters.
One source said the buyer is a Saudi businessman of Lebanese origin and the deal was agreed in December.
However, the sale was not linked to Prince Alwaleed's detention, sources said, and the Four Seasons had been on the market for a long time.
The billionaire, who owns and chairs Kingdom Holding investment company, is reportedly still negotiating a settlement to secure his release from the five-star gilded prison.
The Four Seasons management company will continue to operate the hotel, Reuters reported.
Another Lebanese source confirmed the sale and said Beirut's Movenpick hotel - in which Kingdom also has a stake - is also in the process of being sold. Negotiations with a potential buyer have begun.
Kingdom Holding is selling other assets across Africa and the Middle East as part of its business strategy, the first source said, in moves unrelated to what is happening in Saudi Arabia.
Prince Alwaleed has a net worth estimated by Forbes magazine of $17 billion, and owns shares in Citigroup, Twitter, ride-hailing firm Lyft and Time Warner.
Saudi officials behind the crackdown say they aim to claw back some $100 billion of funds that "rightfully belong to the state". Critics say this amounts to a shake down to boost the plans of the powerful king-in-waiting.