Qatari Diar sells 20% stake in Paris conference centre

The real estate arm of the sovereign wealth fund has sold a stake in the Centre International de Conferences, to HongKong and Shanghai Hotels for €100m. The centre will be redeveloped into the Peninsula Hotel.

Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company has sold a 20 percent stake in the famed Kleber conference centre in Paris as part of its plans to redevelop the landmark building into a luxury hotel.

The sovereign wealth fund has sold the centre, officially known as Centre International de Conferences on Avenue Kleber, to HongKong and Shanghai Hotels (HSH) for €100 million. Qatari Diar purchased the building in 2007 for a reported €465 million.

In a statement, the wealth fund manager said it would redevelop the centre into the Peninsula Paris hotel. A subsidiary of HSH will manage the property for at least 30 years.

The centre was originally built and opened in 1908 as the Hotel Majestic, and was the headquarters of the German military government during the Second World War. It is now used as an international conference centre by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

HSH, which owns the Peninsula Hotels in Hong Kong, New York, Chicago, Beverly Hills, Tokyo, Bangkok, Beijing, Manila and Shanghai, is expected to inject up to €50 million in capital towards the redevelopment, which is due to be finished in 2012. Qatari Diar is fully owned by the Qatar Investment Authority.