Luxury London hotel The Ritz, currently shut due to the coronavirus pandemic, has been sold to a Qatari buyer for just under $1 billion, lawyers overseeing the deal have confirmed,
"It is a privilege to become the owner of the iconic Ritz Hotel and have the opportunity to build on its innate style and grand traditions," the unnamed buyer said a statement issued by law firm Macfarlanes.
"During this COVID-19 crisis, our first priority is towards the staff of The Ritz, who together are the essence of The Ritz's 115-year-old reputation," the statement said. "Once this pandemic has passed, we look forward to reopening the hotel and to sharing our longer-term plans."
The hotel had been owned by billionaire brothers Frederick and David Barclay since 1995.
The 18th-century hotel overlooks Green Park in central London close to Buckingham Palace, home to Queen Elizabeth II.
The plush hotel boasts 136 rooms, ranging from 650 British pounds ($794) per night for the cheapest room to more than 6,000 British pounds for the most expensive suite.
The landmark hotel closed its doors to guests earlier this month for the first time since it opened in 1906.