The Four Seasons hotels chain announced Wednesday that Bill Gates would purchase a majority stake in the company for $2.21 billion, Report informs, citing TASS.
Cascade Investment LLC, which manages the Microsoft cofounder's massive fortune, agreed to buy half of Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's stake in the hotel chain. The all-cash deal pushes Gates' ownership from 47.5% to 71.25% and values the Four Seasons at $10 billion in enterprise value. The deal is expected to close in January 2022.
Gates's purchase is a bet in part on the rebound of high-end business travel to big cities, which has suffered a blow during the pandemic. At least two Four Seasons hotels —including the one in midtown Manhattan— are currently closed; the midtown Manhattan location, owned by Beanie Baby's billionaire founder Ty Warner, is "undergoing substantial infrastructure and maintenance work," according to a note on its website. However, one industry insider told Forbes that luxury hotels such as the Four Seasons lose money unless they operate at very high occupancy rates.