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Qatari investor acquires minority stake in El Corte Ingles for $1.1bn

RBR Staff Writer Published 14 July 2015

A Qatari investor has acquired a 10% stake in Spanish department store chain El Corte Ingles in a $1.1bn deal.

El Corte Ingles

The investor, Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani, is said to be the former Prime Minister of Qatar, Reuters reported, with the privately owned retailer selling its stake to a foreign investor for the first time.

El Corte Ingles owns and operates a chain of department stores in Spain and Portugal. Its department stores offer clothing, shoes, and accessories for men, women, kids, and babies; crockery, kitchen utensils, glassware, cutlery, and cooking products; food products, juices, and soft drinks besides other products.

The company also owns hypermarkets, convenience stores, supermarkets, opticians, fashion, and DIY businesses.

Majority-owned by Ramon Areces' descendants, El Corte Ingles generated €14.2bn in sales during 2013.

The retailer recovering from a deep economic crisis is still focused on its core home market.

According to El Pais newspaper, Al Thani's investment in the retailer could lead to an eventual stock market listing.

The RetailWeek previously reported that El Corte Ingles has created an app to allow shoppers in Portugal to browse virtual shopping aisles.

El Corte Ingles also divested a 51% stake in its consumer finance business to Santander bank in 2013.

Image: El Corte Ingles head office in Madrid, Spain. Photo: courtesy of Luis García / Wikipedia.