The private financial backer of the £4bn takeover of Selfridges has been revealed as Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.
Last August it was reported by The Telegraph that The Kingdom’s £500bn Public Investment Fund (PIF) had acquired an interest in Oxford Street’s famous department store through Austrian property firm Signa Holding.
The PIF which held a minority contribution of the Signa fund that acquired a 50% stake in the retailer, teamed up with Thai retailer Central Group for an equal partnership, reflecting the way Saudi Arabia is using intermediaries to deploy its extensive wealth.
This deal is the third high-profile investments from the PIF in the UK, after it became the second-largest shareholder in Aston Martin and also acquired a majority ownership of Newcastle United in 2021.
Selfridges came onto the market after the Weston Family, who owned the store, put it up for auction following the death of patriarch Galen Weston.
The Telegraph also revealed that the London branch of Bangkok Bank provided a £1.7bn loan that is secured against the freehold of its London flagship store, which Swiss lender EFG Bank provided a loan secured against its Manchester location to help fund the acquisition.
We would like to welcome the owners and look forward to working with them, as we have been Selfridges’ neighbours for over 17 years.