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Qatari royal family buys iconic London department store

Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Qatari royal family, has purchased London department store Harrods from its billionaire owner Mohamed Al Fayed.
Al Fayed's advisors Lazard International made the announcement in a statement released on Saturday. "The Al Fayed family trust, owners of Harrods, announce that they have today sold the Harrods Group to Qatar Holding," it said.
Qatar Holding is the investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, which was founded by the State of Qatar in 2005 to strengthen the country's economy by diversifying into different asset classes.
"It is a privilege for us to acquire Harrods, a unique company that combines an iconic luxury brand and one of the most prestigious retail properties in the world with best-in-class financial metrics," Ahmad Al Sayed, chief executive and managing director of Qatar Holding, said in a statement.
According to Lazard's chairman Ken Costa: "Qatar Holding was specifically chosen by the Trust as they had both the vision and the financial capacity to support the long term successful growth of Harrods," the statement said.
Neither party confirmed how much the deal was worth but press speculation values it at around £1.5 billion.
This is just the latest high-profile asset the Qataris have invested in. Last year Qatar Holding took a 17% voting stake in family-controlled Porsche, the first non-family investors in the luxury carmakers history (continue reading here).

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