Qatar and Abu Dhabi are both in talks to acquire 42 UK-based Marriott hotels, in a deal worth up to ?700m ($1.08bn), it has been reported.
The sale is being administered by state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) and the highest bid has allegedly come from the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), who has teamed up with the Blue Coast Indian hotel chain as part of the deal.
The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) is still hoping to win the deal, the Sunday Times said.
A decision is expected to be made by RBS in the coming weeks, a source told the newspaper. The hotels were previously owned by the Whitbread hospitality chain, which is currently restructuring its debts.
Winning the deal would be the latest trophy asset for the QIA, which also owns stakes in German carmakers Volkswagen, Porsche, US-based jewellery retailer Tiffany’s and LVMH, the French luxury group which owns Louis Vuitton. The Doha-based investment firm also owns the London department store Harrods.