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Four Seasons Set to Go Private

The hotel operator accepts a $3.8 billion offer from a group led by its chief executive.

Four Seasons Hotels


agreed to a $3.8 billion buyout deal from a group led by its chief executive.

The luxury-hotel operator will be taken private for $82 a share, a 28% premium to the company's stock price when the offer was first

made public in November. The stock recently had been trading above that bid, and shares recently fell $2.48, or 3%, to $81.40.

Isadore Sharp, the company's CEO and controlling shareholder, is being backed in the deal by Kingdom Hotels International, a company owned by Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud; and Cascade Investment, an entity owned by

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founder Bill Gates. Kingdom Hotels took

Fairmont Hotels

private last year.

The transaction has been approved unanimously by the Four Seasons' board of directors. Shareholders are expected to vote on the deal in April.

Hotel stocks have enjoyed a tremendous amount of takeover interest from private equity firms over the past year since lodging fundamentals remain strong.