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Bill Gates firm buys Saudi Prince Alwaleed Four Seasons stake – Aljazeera.com

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Bill Gates’s investment firm will pay Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal $2.2 billion to raise its stake in Four Seasons Holding Co.

Cascade Investment LLC will buy a 23.75% stake from Kingdom Holding Co, giving the business a $10 billion enterprise value. As part of the all-cash deal, Cascade’s stake will increase to 71.25%.

Kingdom Holding will use the proceeds for investments and to repay some outstanding loans. The deal is expected to close in January 2022. Four Seasons Chairman, Isadore Sharp, will retain his 5% stake.

Four Seasons shareholders took the company private in 2007, with Gates and Alwaleed leading the deal. The new owners expanded the company’s footprint to more markets in a bid to capitalize on a booming market for luxury travel.

Four Seasons managed 74 hotels when it agreed to be acquired by Gates and Alwaleed. Now it operates 121 properties, with more than 50 projects in the pipeline.

It’s also expanded efforts to attach its brand to luxury homes, as real estate developers realized that affluent buyers would pay more to live in a condo or residential community associated with the hotel brand.

‘Important Partner’

The relationship between Bill Gates and Prince Alwaleed stretches back decades. Gates described him as an “important partner” in their charitable work together in November 2017. The Microsoft founder and philanthropist was one of a few western executives who voiced support for the prince while he was detained at Riyadh Ritz-Carlton hotel and accused of corruption by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Alwaleed has made a series of deals since he reached a “confirmed understanding” to secure his release from detention in 2018. Shortly after, he invested about $270 million into music streaming service Deezer. He sold a stake in his Rotana Music label to Warner Music Group Corp in February.

Cascade, which is run by Gates’s money manager Michael Larson, first invested in Four Seasons in 1997 when the company was public.

Gates, who is worth $152.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, officially ended his 27-year marriage last month and retains most of the ex-couple’s public fortune through Cascade. French Gates has received almost $6 billion in shares of public companies, according to filings.

Details of how the couple’s enormous fortune is being split up are confidential, so there may be more private assets that have been transferred to French Gates.

Cascade also manages the endowment of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where Gates and French Gates are co-chairs.

After Pandemic

The lodging industry is coming off its worst year in modern industry, with the Covid-19 pandemic halting global travel. Vaccination campaigns have sparked a lodging rebound led by leisure travelers, but luxury hotels are still lagging lower-quality properties, according to data from STR. and it now manages 121 hotels and resorts, and 46 residential properties in 47 countries.

Four Seasons has almost two dozen hotels in the Middle East and Africa, including one in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh in the landmark Kingdom Tower. It is a popular hotel among the consultants and bankers who’ve helped transform the country’s economy and who commute from nearby Dubai.

Prince Alwaleed has stakes in Citigroup Inc., ride-hailing firm Lyft Inc., and Accor SA through the investment firm. He has also made several high-profile technology investments.

Prince’s Fortune

Alwaleed’s wealth has halved since 2014 to $18.4 billion from a high of $36 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The prince previously said during in interview that the decline was due to a slump in Kingdom Holding’s shares and not because of any agreement or settlement he made during his detention.

About half of Alwaleed’s wealth is tied to shares in the holding company, in which he owns a 95% stake.

The investment company reported a loss last year of 1.47 billion riyals ($392 million). The value of his other holdings — including Saudi property, public and private equities, jewelry and a superyacht — helped mitigate some of the losses, according to figures previously provided by Alwaleed’s investment firm.

Kingdom’s stock rose 1.1% on Wednesday, giving it a market capitalization of about 40 billion riyals.

(Updates with context starting in fourth paragraph.)
-With assistance from Matthew Martin, Reema Alothman and Patrick Clark.

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Instagram pausing Instagram Kids, eyes changes – Business News – Castanet.net

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Instagram is putting a hold on the development of Instagram kids, geared towards children under 13, so it can address concerns about access and content.

Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, wrote in a blog post Monday that a delay will give the company time to “work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today.”

The announcement follows a withering series by the Wall Street Journal, which reported that Facebook was aware that the use of Instagram by some teenage girls led to mental health issues and anxiety.

Yet the development of Instagram for a younger audience was met with broader push back almost immediately.

Facebook announced the development of Instagram for kids in March, saying at the time that it was “exploring a parent-controlled experience.” The push back was almost immediate and in May, a bipartisan group of 44 attorneys general wrote to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, urging him to abandon the project, citing the well being of children.

They cited increased cyberbullying, possible vulnerability to online predators, and what they called Facebook’s “checkered record” in protecting children on its platforms. Facebook faced similar criticism in 2017 when it launched the Messenger Kids app, touted as a way for children to chat with family members and friends approved by parents.

While concerns about Instagram for kids is ongoing, Mosseri said that Instagram believes it’s better for children under 13 to have a specific platform for age-appropriate content, and that other companies like TikTok and YouTube have app versions for that age group.

“We firmly believe that it’s better for parents to have the option to give their children access to a version of Instagram that is designed for them — where parents can supervise and control their experience — than relying on an app’s ability to verify the age of kids who are too young to have an ID,” he wrote.

Mosseri said that Instagram for kids is meant for those between the ages of 10 and 12, not younger. It will require parental permission to join, be ad free, and will include age-appropriate content and features. Parents will be able to supervise the time their children spend on the app, oversee who can message them, who can follow them and who they can follow.

While work is being paused on Instagram Kids, the company will be expanding opt-in parental supervision tools to teen accounts of those 13 and older. More details on these tools will be disclosed in the coming months, Mosseri said.

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Rescue efforts underway after 39 miners trapped underground in Sudbury – Globalnews.ca

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Rescue efforts are underway after 39 miners became trapped underground at Vale’s Totten mine in Sudbury, Ont., on Sunday afternoon.

On Monday afternoon, a Vale spokesperson confirmed the rescue crew had reached the miners and is starting the ascent. The company expects everyone to reach the surface by Monday night.

Read more:
Sudbury police search for suspect in hit-and-run homicide investigation

“We have learned that no one is injured, which is our number one concern,” Vale spokesperson Jeffrey Lewis said in an email.

“The miners have had and continue to have access to water, food and medicine.”

The company said the conveyance for transporting employees was taken offline following an incident in the shaft on Sunday afternoon.

It confirmed that employees will exit the mine through a secondary egress ladder system with the support of Vale’s mine rescue team.

When the incident took place, the employees underground immediately went to refuge stations as part of what Vale called its “normal procedures.”

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“We have been in frequent communication with them since the incident,” the company said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of these employees.”

On Monday, Ontario Premier Doug Ford said he’s relieved to hear the miners are uninjured.

“Our thoughts are with the 39 miners trapped underground in Sudbury as rescue teams work to get them safely above ground,” Ford tweeted.

Timmins—James Bay MP Charlie Angus also said he’s praying for the safety of the mining workers.

“Let’s get everyone home,” he said.


Click to play video: 'Maintenance workers trapped in Saskatchewan potash mine rescued, are safe'



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Maintenance workers trapped in Saskatchewan potash mine rescued, are safe


Maintenance workers trapped in Saskatchewan potash mine rescued, are safe – Jul 4, 2019

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Poker Pal of Evergrande Founder Heads for the Exit – Bloomberg Markets and Finance

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