Bill Gates' investment firm takes controlling stake in Four Seasons Hotels

Four Seasons Hotels
A Four Seasons hotel. (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts)

Bill Gates' Cascade Investment LLC is to take a controlling interest in Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts by buying half of Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's stake in the business for $2.21 billion.

The agreement will see Cascade increase its existing 47.5 percent stake to 71.25 percent. The deal values the luxury hospitality company at $10 billion. Four Seasons founder and chairman, Isadore Sharp, through Triples Holdings Limited will retain his 5% stake.

Cascade first invested in Four Seasons in 1997 when the company was public.

"As we mark our 60th anniversary and look back on the profound impact that Four Seasons has had on luxury hospitality we also look forward with tremendous excitement and confidence in the future of the industry," said Four Seasons CEO John Davison.  "The unwavering support and partnership of our shareholders has and continues to be critical as we capitalize on growing opportunities to serve luxury consumers worldwide."

Sharp founded Four Seasons in 1960 and the company now manages 121 hotels and resorts, and 46 residential properties in 47 countries with more than 50 projects at various stages of development. 

Four Seasons shareholders took the Company private in 2007, executing a strategy that expanded new opportunities for guests, residents, employees, and hotel owner partners worldwide. Today the Four Seasons name is synonymous with a singular focus on luxury and highly personalized service the world over.

Prince Alwaleed, through investment vehicle Kingdom Holding Co, will own 23.75% of Four Seasons when the transaction is completed.

The sale is expected to close in January 2022, pending regulatory approvals and other conditions.