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Kingdom Hotels International (KHI), which is owned by Kingdom Holding Company, chaired by HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, has been vindicated in a historic legal decision by the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom.
The landmark ruling, dated July 16, 2014, upholds the right of KHI and its co-investors in FHR European Ventures LLP, to recoup hidden and undisclosed financial payments that were received by Ramsey N. Mankarious’ company, Cedar Capital Partners LLC, in connection with the sale of the Monte Carlo Grand Hotel in Monaco.
In a unanimous decision, the UK Supreme Court established, once and for all, the English law on the full extent of the liability of agents who breach their fiduciary duties, which had been an unresolved issue for nearly two hundred years.
Prince Alwaleed stated, “This decision affirms my strong belief in transparent and ethical business practices and the importance of pursuing remedies all the way to the highest courts in order to punish any deviation from such commercial standards.” Prince Alwaleed added, “I personally believe that the behavior here was so egregious that one must aggressively pursue it by all available legal remedies in order to strengthen international corporate conduct.”
Based upon this definitive legal ruling by the UK Supreme Court, Prince Alwaleed will now lead FHR European Ventures LLP, in pursuing Mr. Mankarious personally to disgorge the proceeds of the undisclosed fee that he received personally as well as Cedar Capital LLC, for all legal costs owed.
The lawsuit originally was filed on behalf of FHR European Ventures LLP – a joint venture of Kingdom Hotels International and two other investors. The lawsuit sought recovery of a €10 million “secret commission” wrongfully gained by Cedar Capital Partners LLC (whose founder and CEO is Mr. Ramsey Mankarious), at the expense of the shareholders of FHR European Ventures LLP during its purchase of the Monte Carlo Grand Hotel in Monaco. After the first instance trial in 2011, the court ruled in favor of FHR on the question of liability in a judgment against Mr. Mankarious and his companies. However, on the question of remedy, the judgment only required Cedar Capital Partners LLC, to repay the secret payments even though the company had become insolvent.
Prince Alwaleed then ensured that FHR took its claim to the English Court of Appeal to seek a more effective remedy that would increase its chances of recovering the funds on the basis that Cedar Capital Partners LLC, which was insolvent at the time, had received the funds ‘on constructive trust’ for FHR, thereby enabling Prince Alwaleed and his co-investors to pursue Mr. Mankarious and anyone else who had received any of the €10 million “secret commission” from Cedar Capital Partners LLC. The Court of Appeal agreed with Prince Alwaleed’s argument and granted the appeal in early 2013, effectively ruling the original judgment could be enforced against anyone who subsequently received any part of those monies, including Mr. Mankarious.
The UK Supreme Court upheld, in a 7-0 unanimous decision, the right of Kingdom Hotels International and its fellow investors to pursue anyone who had received part of the proceeds of the “secret commission” (including Mr Mankarious) based on the fact that his company, Cedar Capital Partners LLC, held that money for them on constructive trust. As a result of Prince Alwaleed’s efforts, the Supreme Court has now definitively clarified the consequences that flow from a breach of duty by an agent to his principal.
Founded in 1980, KHC is a publicly traded company which was listed on Tadawul (the Saudi Stock Exchange) in 2007. KHC is one of the world’s most successful and diversified business organizations, highly respected in the field of investments and recognized as an elite player in the Arabian Gulf region, and internationally. The Company is recognized as one of the largest foreign investors in the United States. KHC’s portfolio has its major interests in investment categories ranging from luxury hotels management hotel companies (Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Fairmont Raffles Holding Intl and Movenpick Hotels, Resorts AG and Swissotel) and real estate (Kingdom Tower and project in Jeddah and Kingdom Riyadh project) to hotel real estate investments such as (The Plaza, New York, Savoy Hotel, London and Four Seasons, George V Hotel, Paris and other hotels).
KHC also has investments in Petrochemical (Tasnee) Media and Publishing (News Corporation and Saudi Research and Marketing Group), as well as in Entertainment (Euro Disney S.C.A). In addition, Finance and Investment services (Citigroup), Social Media and Technology (Twitter and Jingdong). Moreover, the Company has investments in Education (Kingdom Schools), Health Care (Medical Services Projects Company), Aviation (NAS Saudi Arabia) and Agriculture (Kingdom Agricultural Development Company – KADCO Egypt).
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Kingdom Holding Company