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Four Seasons' CEO Taking Luxury Brand Private

February 12, 2007 By: David Eisen Travel Agent

A group led by Four Seasons Hotels' chief executive has acquired the luxury hotel brand for the approximate sum of $3.8 billion and plans to take the company private, Four Seasons announced on Monday. Microsoft chairman Bill Gates and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, whose Kingdom Hotels International along with a U.S. investment group bought the Fairmont brand last year for $3.9 billion, joined Four Seasons' CEO Isadore Sharp in the purchase. Four Seasons said the company board unanimously approved the deal, and a shareholders vote is expected in April. If the deal goes through, Sharp will have a 10-percent stake of the chain, while the remaining shares will be equally divided between Kingdom and Gates' group, Cascade Investment.

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