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Raffles Hotel sold to Qatari Diar for $275 Million

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According to The Times, “The historic Raffles Hotel in Singapore, famed for its colonial grandeur and the Singapore Sling cocktail, is to change hands in a deal worth $275 million (£180 million). The luxury 103-room hotel, a favourite watering hole of literary figures including Somerset Maugham and Rudyard Kipling, looks set to be acquired from Fairmont Raffles Hotels International by Qatari Diar, part of the state-controlled sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority.

Talks over a deal come a year after The Times reported that Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the Saudi billionaire who controls Fairmont Raffles, had secretly put the 123-year-old hotel up for sale with an asking price of more than $350 million — a story that was later denied by the Prince’s Kingdom Holding Company.

News of a possible sale of Raffles comes hot on the heels of the purchase this week by Qatari Diar of a 40 per cent stake in Fairmont Raffles itself, a deal that reduces Kingdom’s stake from 58 per cent to 35 per cent. Colony Capital, the American property and private equity investor, is cutting its holding to 22 per cent. The $847 million headline price comprises $467 million for a 40 per cent stake, another $105 million in the form of hotel management contracts that Qatari Diar will award to Fairmont Raffles on a number of other hotels it owns, plus $275 million for an unnamed hotel property.”

read more: The Times

UK PM Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Deal is Defeated in House of Commons

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U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May lost a key vote on her Brexit plans by 230 votes in the House of Commons. The vote was 432 to 202 to reject the deal. Approximately 118 Conservative MPs voted with the opposition parties against May’s deal. A large number of Conservative party members view May’s deal with Europe as a “sell-out” to the ideals of Brexit. She also faced opposition from Conservative members who were always against Brexit.

Politicians from different political parties rejected May’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement. Despite the loss, May informed lawmakers that she wanted to demonstrate to U.K. voters that it was her “duty to deliver” on Brexit.

Last, may confirmed she would give time to debate the no-confidence motion pushed by Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

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Saudi Arabia Forges Ahead on Forming Entertainment Complex in Riyadh

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Saudi Arabia is forging ahead with plans to create a mega entertainment complex in Riyadh. Specific dollar amounts have not been disclosed. The entertainment center follows investments in “Amaala,” a tourist destination along the Red Sea, and NEOM, the new planned economic zone, which is also a tourist destination. The investment is part of a broader push to diversify the oil-based economy. The planned complex is 100,000 square meters, and will be developed by the Saudi Entertainment Ventures Company, which is a subsidiary of the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, the PIF, or Public Investment Fund. The Saudi Entertainment Ventures Company goes by the acronym SEVEN. The location will host sports, performances, high-end local and international restaurants, and movie cinemas. SEVEN has proven to be an innovative force, opening Saudi Arabia’s first cinema in nearly four decades, after establishing a partnership with AMC to do so. Abdullah bin Nasser Al Dawoud is the Chairman of the Board of Directors at SEVEN. The companies are seeking other outside investors as well.

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Blackstone Taps Former General Atlantic Executive for New Growth Equity Platform

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The Blackstone Group is prepping to augment its new growth equity investment platform, as public asset owners clamor for such vehicles. Blackstone hired Jonathan (Jon) Korngold to be senior managing director of the firm’s new growth equity platform. Korngold will join Blackstone in February 2019.

Previously, Korngold was a Managing Director at General Atlantic, a private equity firm that focuses on growth equity investments. He spent 18 years at General Atlantic, sourcing and executing billions of dollars of growth equity investments across the technology services, enterprise software, healthcare, financial services, and consumer sectors.

At General Atlantic, Paul Stamas (based out of New York), and Aaron Goldman (based out of London), will assume Jon Korngold’s duties at General Atlantic. General Atlantic started out as the captive investment team of Atlantic Philanthropies, founded by Charles F. Feeney, a co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers Group.

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