Pakistani-American billionaire Shahid Khan, founder of auto parts manufacturer Flex-N-Gate and CEO of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and the British Football League (Sky Bet) Championship team Fulham FC, said he acquired the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto from Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding, for C$225 (US$171.5 million).
The Four Seasons Hotel Toronto landmark offers 259 spacious luxury hotel guest rooms, including 42 suites, in Toronto’s luxurious and trendy Yorkville neighborhood. The property features a 30,000-square-foot two-story spa, Café Boulud and bar by international restaurateur and Chef Daniel Boulud, and glass-enclosed event spaces. It was designed by architectsAlliance, with Page and Steele as Architect of Record. Celebrities who visit during the Toronto International Film Festival, often stay at the hotel.
The hotel will continue to be managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and its business and services continue uninterrupted. The 55-floor luxury condominium residence tower, which is part of the complex, is not included in the deal.
“By taking ownership of this property, I intend to treat it as the treasure that it is, and to do whatever it takes to maintain and build upon its leadership position in the luxury hotel segment in Canada,” Khan said. “Given his ownership stake in the management company Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, I am happy that HRH Prince Alwaleed continues to play an integral role in the company’s global presence.”
Four Seasons, the world’s leading luxury hospitality company, with 99 properties worldwide, is currently owned 47.5 percent by Bill Gates’s Cascade, 47.5 percent by HRH Prince Alwaleed and 5 percent by the company’s founder Isadore Sharp.
Up until this sale transaction, Four Seasons Hotel Toronto was wholly owned by Kingdom Holding Company (KHC). Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, KHC is a publicly listed company on the Saudi Stock Exchange, founded and chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, one of the world’s leading investors.
Kingdom Holding acquired the hotel property for $200 million in November 2012, after its new location at 60 Yorkville Avenue at the intersection with Bay Street, was inaugurated a month earlier.
At the end of September 2016, Khan’s net worth was estimated at $6.9 billion by Forbes, which featured him on the magazine’s front cover in 2012. He is the richest person of Pakistan.
A naturalized U.S. citizen, Shahid Khan arrived from Pakistan in 1967 at age 16 to study at the University of Illinois. With a B.S. in industrial engineering in 1971, he became Flex-N-Gate’s engineering manager. In 1978, Khan left and with $13,000 in savings and $50,000 from the Small Business Loan Corporation, he created the start-up Bumper Works, which revolutionized the industry through an innovative one-piece bumper design that remains the industry standard.
Khan eventually returned to buy Urbana, Illinois-based Flex-N-Gate, which was ranked in 2015 by Automotive News as the 10th-largest original equipment supplier in North America and the 38th largest supplier in the world. Flex-N-Gate employs more than 18,750 people at 55 manufacturing facilities and nine product development and engineering facilities.
He acquired the Jacksonville Jaguars from Wayne Weaver in 2012, and the Fulham Football Club from Mohamed Al Fayed in 2013.
Khan’s purchase of the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto deepens his business roots in Canada, where Flex-N-Gate operates 11 plants in Ontario.
Photo: Shahid Khan, owner of Four Seasons Hotel Toronto, Flex-N-Gate, Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham Football Club.