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Harrods sells for £1.5 Billion

May 10, 2010

Harrods, London’s biggest luxury department store, was sold on Saturday to Qatar Holding for £1.5 billion (about $2.24 billion USD) – reports the NY times.

“It is a privilege for us to acquire Harrods, a unique company that combines an iconic luxury brand and one of the most prestigious retail properties in the world with best-in-class financial metrics,”

Ahmad al-Sayed, Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Holding, said in a statement.

Mohamed al Fayed, who bought the company in 1985 (for £615 million), has decided to retire and spend more time with his children and grandchildren – said Ken Costa,  chairmen of the investment bank advising the deal.

So let me get this straight. Selling Harrods had nothing to do with the fierce competition that the Harvey Nichols across the street was creating, or the current economic situations and its effects on Britain’s retail industry. Nor did it have to do with the fact that he sold the company for more than double the price he paid for it. Nope. He sold the joint to spend more time with his offspring and their offspring. How very sweet of him. Oddly though, he still has lots of time for his role as honorary chairman of the organization.

Let’s just hope the new owners will retain the original integrity of the organization.

-M

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