Harrods sold to Qatari royal family

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New York City Billionaire Mohammed al-Fayed has agreed to sell London’s famed Harrods department store, for 1.5 billion British pounds, or approximately $2.3 billion, to Qatar Holdings, BBC News reported. Qatar Holdings is the investment arm of the emirate's sovereign wealth fund, Qatar Investment Authority.

“It is a privilege for us to acquire Harrods, a unique company that combines an iconic luxury brand and one of the most prestigious retail properties in the world with best-in-class financial metrics,” Ahmad al-Sayed, CEO of Qatar Holding, said in a statement.

The Egyptian-born al-Fayed, 77, bought Harrods in 1985. Under the terms of the deal with Qatar, he would retire and become honorary chairman of Harrods. He agreed to sell the retail landmark in after Qatar pledged to keep investing in the business and to safeguard its employees’ pensions, reports said.

The colorful and often controversial al-Fayed has waged a largely unsuccessful 10-year campaign to prove that Princess Diana and his son Dodi, who died in a Paris car crash in 1997, were murdered in a conspiracy.