Alwaleed stakes claim

Saudi Prince, billionaire and businessman Alwaleed bin Talal could be gearing up for the Lebanese premiership.

  • E-Mail
By  David Ingham Published  December 31, 2003

Saudi Prince, billionaire and businessman Alwaleed bin Talal could be gearing up for the Lebanese premiership after acquiring a 49% stake in satellite broadcaster LBC Sat. The US $98 million purchase from media tycoon Sheikh Saleh Kamel, chairman of ART television, adds to Alwaleed’s already impressive portfolio. Through his Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), Alwaleed currently possesses 6% of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, 17.3% of Disneyland Paris, a stake in Time Warner and the Walt Disney Company, a 20% stake in Planet Hollywood, shares in several Arabic newspapers as well as being a major shareholder in Mövenpick and Four Seasons hotels. “At KHC we search for value companies and view the acquisition of a stake in LBC Sat as a major boost to our portfolio,” said Alwaleed, adding that LBC was one of the main sources of news in the Arab World. Media experts estimate the market value of LBC Sat at around $200 million. When pressed on whether he would interfere with scheduling, Alwaleed stressed that he had no intention of changing “a successful channel.” Sheikh Pierre El Daher, chairman of LBC Sat, added that the new partnership would boost the station to the highest communication standards. “We are used to achieving our dreams alone, and with the biggest dreamer and achiever on our side, our dreams have become an even more tangible reality,” said El Daher. Political observers have for some time speculated that Alwaleed, whose mother is Lebanese, is manoeuvring to become a candidate for the post of Lebanese Prime Minister. KHC has more than 10 investment and humanitarian projects in Lebanon, with plans to build a new Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut. When pressed on the premiership, Alwaleed neither confirmed nor denied his desire to take the job, responding jokingly, that he was currently only interested in LBC Sat.

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code