HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), received HE. Mr. Bertrand Besancenot, Ambassador of France to Saudi Arabia. The meeting was also attended by Ms. Hassna Alturki, Executive Manager for International Relations to HRH the Chairman, Mr. Fahad Bin Nafel, Senior Executive Assistant to HRH the Chairman and Mr. Ahmed Altobaishi, Executive Assistant to HRH.
The meeting began as the Ambassador thanked Prince Alwaleed for giving him the opportunity to meet him. During the meeting, the two discussed a number of social and economic issues. Furthermore, Mr. Besancenot bid farewell to HRH as he had come to the end of his post as French Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Recently, in the presence of HE French President François Hollande, Mr. Jack Lang, President of the Arab World Institute (IMA), bestowed Prince Alwaleed with the “Commandeur de L’Ordre Des Arts et des Lettres” medal during HRH’s trip to Paris. Moreover, the ceremony was also attended by HE Dr. Khalid Bin Mohammed Al-Angari, Saudi Ambassador to the Republic of France and Mr. Kacy Grine, Advisor to HRH the Chairman.
KHC’s investments in France are considered to be the largest Saudi Arabian presence in France through the ownership and management of the iconic landmark The Four Seasons Hotel George V, the management of Le Royal Monceau Hotel (Raffles), Disneyland, Paris (Euro Disney), 7 hotels in Disneyland, Paris, in addition to the management of the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat in the South of France, and through the presence of Citigroup. Also, Prince Alwaleed’s cultural contributions, through Alwaleed Philanthropies that is chaired by His Royal Highness have been highlighted by a US$20 million in 2005 to establish the center of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre.
In 2015, HE President Hollande and Prince Alwaleed held a meeting at the French Presidential Palace, The Elysee. In a strategic alliance between France & KHC. A consortium of France’s big companies led by the CDCIC International Capital, the International investment arm of Caisse des Depots, France’s Sovereign Wealth Fund, announced that they have approved an investment in KHC. The deal constitutes the acquisition of KHC’s shares with a minimum amount of $150 million dollars (SR563 million Saudi Riyals) subject to increase. Moreover, HRH Prince Alwaleed retained all the 95% stake in KHC. In a separate deal, KHC & CDC France’s SWF had announced a launch of USD 400M fund. The investment fund will be to seek attractive investment opportunities in small and medium size enterprises in Saudi Arabia with the participation of large French corporates, in addition to diversifying KHC’s investment portfolio.
In 2006, HRH was bestowed the medal of “Legion of Honor,” with the rank of Commander by the former French President, Jacques Chirac during an official ceremony held at the Élysée Palace. The medal is the country’s highest civilian honor, and it was bestowed to the Prince in recognition of his role in strengthening Saudi-French cultural, business and economic relations. In 2009 Former President Nicolas Sarkozy awarded Prince Alwaleed the “President of France Medal”. In 2007, HRH was awarded the “Golden” medal by the French Minister of Culture and Communication.
Founded in 1980, KHC is a publicly traded company which was listed on Tadawul (the Saudi Stock Exchange) in 2007. Today, KHC is one of the world’s most successful and diversified business organizations with investments across 12 sectors. For over two decades, the company has been a leading player in the global hospitality industry, building shareholder value by acquiring, developing, actively asset managing and monetizing high-quality hospitality assets.