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Brier Dudley's blog

Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

November 6, 2006 at 12:15 PM

Mr. Monopoly buying more hotels

Bill Gates is offering $1.2 billion of his own cash in a $3.7 billion deal with a Saudi prince to take the Four Seasons Hotels private.

Gates already owns 2 percent of the company personally, and he and his wife own 6 percent more on behalf of their foundation.

It’s a local story on several levels.

The Four Seasons is also opening a new hotel-condo complex next to the Seattle Art Museum, which is run by Mimi Gates, the wife of Bill’s father. The building is being developed by a tech-heavy consortium that includes Bruce McCaw and Tom Alberg, according to this write-up in a hotel trade publication.

What’s really juicy is the thought that rich people staying at swanky Four Seasons hotels could be helping the world’s poor, via the Gates Foundation, if the buyout goes through.

For a partner in the hotel deal, Bill and Melinda chose a relatively progressive Saudi. I wonder if their philanthropy will rub off on him.

Comments | Topics: Microsoft

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