HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) met with Mr. Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway Chairman and CEO during the 19th Microsoft CEO Summit held in the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond Campus in Washington, Seattle. The Prince’s visit was in response to an invitation from Mr. Bill Gates, CEO of Microsoft to attend the event.
During the function, Prince Alwaleed and Mr. Buffett discussed general issues, topics related to investments and HRH’s international investments especially in the United States. Moreover, Mr. Buffett is one of most influential and prominent investors in the US, businessman and philanthropist Mr. Buffett commended Prince Alwaleed on his humanitarian and investment accomplishments.
Moreover, during the summit Prince Alwaleed and Mr. Gates discussed the latest economic developments in addition to topics related to KHC’s international investments including its stake of 47.5% in the Four Seasons which is co-owned by Bill Gates’ Cascade with a 47.5% stake, which the remaining 5% is owned by Mr. Isadore Sharp. Also, the two discussed future potential collaboration. Moreover, Prince Alwaleed met with some of the most prominent CEOs.
The Microsoft CEO Summit was established in 1997 in response to growing interest in the convergence of technology and business issues among corporate CEOs. Attendees had an opportunity to hear leading industry experts analyze economic trends and technology issues. The event was private, provided a forum in which CEOs from major companies and prominent business people discussed business challenges and shared insights and experiences with their peers from around the world.
HRH has significant investments in the US in the financial sector via Citigroup, in the media and entertainment sector through 21st Fox Century and in the hotel sector through the Fairmont New York Plaza one of New York’s most distinctive landmarks, Four Seasons hotel via the management of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts in which KHC hold a 47.5% interest, and in the Social Media and Technology sector via Twitter.
His Highness first invested in Citigroup in 1991, and is the largest individual shareholder in the company. In 2008, Prince Alwaleed participated in the private offering of convertible preferred securities of Citigroup. The new direct investment was made alongside an exclusive group of leading international investors. The Prince converted the preferred shares in 2009 into common shares (voting shares). Prince Alwaleed has 7% (voting shares) through KHC in 21st Fox Century and KHC that is 95% owned by Prince Alwaleed, is the second largest shareholder in 21st Fox Century after the Murdoch family. Moreover, 21st Fox Century owns 19% stake in Rotana that is privately owned by Prince Alwaleed. The New York Plaza that is partially owned by HRH through KHC underwent a $400 million renovation and reopened a few years ago. The hotel is managed by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International (FRHI) in which KHC holds a substantial interest.
Founded in 1980, KHC is a publicly traded company which was listed on Tadawul (the Saudi Stock Exchange) in 2007. KHC is one of the world’s most successful and diversified business organizations, highly respected in the field of investments and recognized as an elite player in the Arabian Gulf region, and internationally. The Company is recognized as one of the largest foreign investors in the United States. KHC’s portfolio has its major interests in investment categories ranging from luxury hotels management hotel companies (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fairmont Raffles Holding Intl and Mövenpick Hotels, Resorts AG and Swissotel) and real estate (Kingdom Tower and project in Jeddah and Kingdom Riyadh project) to hotel real estate investments such as (The Plaza, New York, Savoy Hotel, London and Four Seasons, George V Hotel, Paris and other hotels). KHC also has investments in Petrochemical (Tasnee) Media and Publishing (News Corporation and Saudi Research and Marketing Group), as well as in Entertainment (Euro Disney S.C.A). In addition, Finance and Investment services (Citigroup), Social Media and Technology (Twitter and Jingdong). Moreover, the Company has investments in Education (Kingdom Schools), Health Care (Medical Services Projects Company), Aviation (NAS Saudi Arabia) and Agriculture (Kingdom Agricultural Development Company – KADCO Egypt).