Turkish tycoon said to be in talks to sell hotels to Dubai

Sources say billionaire Ferit Sahenk is in talks to sell some of Europe's most famous luxury hotels to Dubai Holding
Turkish tycoon said to be in talks to sell hotels to Dubai
Turkish billionaire Ferit Sahenk.
By Bloomberg
Mon 14 Jan 2019 07:29 PM

Turkish billionaire Ferit Sahenk is in talks to sell some of Europe’s most famous luxury hotels to the investment firm owned by Dubai’s ruler as part of a debt restructuring, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The discussions involve properties including the historic Capri Palace in Italy, the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese in Rome and Istanbul’s Grand Hyatt, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private.

Dubai Holding is doing due diligence on the Capri Palace and Aldrovandi, one of the people said. The firm, one of three main state holding companies in the emirate, owns Jumeirah Group, which would likely operate the hotels, the person said.

Sahenk’s Dogus Holding, which owns the hotels, declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Dubai Holding, controlled by Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Sahenk, once Turkey’s richest man, spent heavily on hospitality businesses at home and overseas after selling his 31 percent stake in Turkiye Garanti Bankasi for almost $5.5 billion.

His company has sought buyers for its trophy hotels for several months, people familiar with its plans have previously said, amid growing concern that the plunge in the lira will make it harder for Turkish firms to secure new foreign debt.

In December, Dogus Holding struck a deal with a group of mostly local banks to restructure part of its borrowings. Those talks involved about $2.5 billion of loans, people familiar with the plan had said in April.

The process was delayed after the lenders demanded the company sell some of its assets, Moody’s Investors Service said on December 6.

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