Fairmont Hotels – owners of the Palliser, the Chateau Lake Louise and the Banff Springs Resort – has been bought by a Saudi Prince and a American property magnate.
Toronto-based Fairmont has agreed to be bought by Colony Capital and a Canadian firm owned by Kingdom Hotels International. Kingdom is owned by Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Abdulaziz Alsaud, one of the richest men in the world.
Kingdom and Colony will pay $45 US per share in cash for Fairmont. Their bid is worth $3.9 billion US, including assumed debt. Kingdom already owns just less than 3.9 million Fairmont shares.
The board of directors of Fairmont has recommended that shareholders accept the Kingdom/Colony bid.
"This transaction is the ideal means of delivering significant, immediate value to the company's current shareholders while preserving this Canadian-based company and establishing a solid platform from which to grow," said Peter Godsoe, chairman of Fairmont's board of directors.
U.S. financier Carl Icahn had bid $40 US per share for majority control Fairmont in December. Icahn had 9.3 per cent of Fairmont's stock at the time and was seeking to buy another 41 per cent. Fairmont's board rejected Icahn's offer, prompting him to say he was considering a bid for all of the company.
Under the terms of their offer for Fairmont, Kingdom and Colony plan to combine the hotel chain with the Raffles hotel chain already held by Colony. Raffles owns and manages 33 properties primarily across Asia and Europe, while Fairmont owns and operates 87 hotels in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Bermuda, Barbados, the U.K., Monaco, Kenya and the United Arab Emirates.
Fairmont will remain an independent company headquartered in Canada and Raffles, based in Singapore, will also retain its independent brand.