Saudi Arabia’s PIF buys significant minority stake in Rocco Forte … – Arab News

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RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has acquired a significant minority stake in UK-based Rocco Forte Hotels, marking a strategic move to enhance its presence in the hospitality sector.  

PIF stated that the agreement aligns with the sovereign fund’s global investment plans in promising sectors to secure long-term returns. However, it did not disclose the exact percentage of shares acquired in Rocco Forte Hotels. 

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Turqi Al-Nowaiser, deputy governor and head of the International Investments Division at PIF, said: “Our investment in Rocco Forte Hotels reflects PIF’s confidence in both the commercial opportunity and the strength of the international hospitality and tourism industries that have shown remarkable resilience in recent years.” 

He added: “As active long-term investors, PIF will continue to invest strategically in promising sectors to achieve sustainable returns globally.”   

The fund also mentioned that the transaction is still pending regulatory approvals. 

According to a press statement, the Forte family will maintain majority ownership and control of the group, while the Italian entity CDPE Investimenti has exited the business post-deal. 

Rocco Forte, the executive chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, expressed excitement about the hotel group’s partnership with PIF.

“They (PIF) share the same vision for the brand and the future strategy of the group, with the same ambition to take a long-term view. I look forward to working with PIF to expand the group and improve the high level of service we offer our customers,” said Forte.  

“We thank CDPEI for having shared the past fruitful eight years during which we both successfully accomplished the mission we shared when we started the journey, having significantly enhanced the value of the company and increased the group’s presence in Italy and across Europe,” he added. 

Founded in 1996 by Rocco Forte and Olga Polizzi, the Rocco Forte Group currently operates 14 hotels and resorts, along with 20 private villas. 

PIF, considered one of the wealthiest sovereign wealth funds globally, is at the forefront of Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification efforts, in line with the objectives outlined in Vision 2030. 

In November, PIF acquired a 10 percent stake in Heathrow Airport from the Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial.

In its October 2023 annual statement, PIF announced the establishment of 70 companies since its inception, with 25, such as Saudi Coffee Co. and Halal Products Development Co., founded in 2022.

In the same month, PIF also launched Tasaru, a company dedicated to developing local supply chain capabilities for the automotive and mobility industry in Saudi Arabia.  

The fund has also made several investments in the future mobility sector, including the establishment of Ceer, Saudi Arabia’s first national electric vehicle brand, in collaboration with Foxconn. Additionally, PIF has invested in Lucid Motors, a US-based company.

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