A Qatari investor has bought the Ritz London for an undisclosed sum and all employees will continue to receive their full salary despite the hotel closing for the first time since it opened 1906 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The hotel was previously owned by billionaire twins Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay, after they bought it in 1995. Sir Frederick previously claimed that he had received competing bids to buy the hotel for more than £1bn.

In a statement, The Ritz London said: “Following various press reports, we can confirm that the Ritz London has been acquired by a private Qatari investor. The hotel will remain closed due to the COVID 19 pandemic. As soon as it is safe, the new ownership together with the hotel’s team look forward to reopening the revolving door, and to the next chapter of Piccadilly’s iconic grande dame hotel. In the meantime, the new owners have confirmed their wish that all employees continue to receive their full salaries during this period of forced closure.”

A spokesperson for the new owner commented: “It is a privilege to become the owner of the iconic Ritz Hotel and have the opportunity to build on its innate style and grand traditions. During this Covid-19 crisis, our first priority is towards the staff of The Ritz, who together are the essence of The Ritz’s 115 year-old reputation. Once this pandemic has passed, we look forward to re-opening the hotel and to sharing our longer-term plans.”

Law firm Macfarlanes advised on the deal, led by corporate and M&A partner Howard Corney.

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