One of the most luxurious hotels in Prague has a new master. Billa Gatese

The investment firm of Microsoft founder Bill Gates will take over a controlling majority in the Canadian luxury hotel chain Four Seasons. Cascade Investment will raise its stake to 71.25% from 47.5%. Four Seasons said in a statement Wednesday. Four Seasons operates the hotel in an exposed location in Prague.

Cascade has reached an agreement with Kingdom Holding Company, which belongs to Prince Valin bin Tala, Saudi Arabia, to buy half of its stake in Four Seasons for $ 2.21 billion (CZK 47.5 billion). The value of the chain is estimated at ten billion dollars. Gates’ Cascade first invested in Four Seasons in 1997.

Four Seasons operates more than 100 hotels worldwide. At the beginning of 2001, the company opened a luxury hotel on Prague’s Vltava embankment, which was its fiftieth at the time.

View from the Four Seasons Hotel.

The increase in the share came at a time when hotels in the busiest tourist areas are experiencing difficult times. Due to pandemic measures, the usual thousands to hundreds of thousands of tourists did not arrive, which puts their operator or owner in trouble.

The Czechia and especially Prague are no exception. While hoteliers or owners of boarding houses in the Czech mountains report a lot, in the Czech capital, occupancy is not even close to pre-Eid numbers – according to Previo, which operates reservation systems, it is around 57 percent this year.

“The whole tourism, which was built on domestic guests, went perfectly during the holidays. Those who were based on foreign guests suffer, especially from America or those who flew here, “Jan Herget, director of the CzechTourism agency, told SZ Byznys.

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