In a bid to compete with the Qatari royal family-owned Harrods, the Saudis secretly bought a stake in its arch-rival Selfridges

Everything the oil-rich nation of Saudi Arabia does becomes legendary, including shopping! The sovereign $700 billion Public Investment Fund (PIF) was behind the $5.14 billion takeover of Selfridges; it has been revealed. Public Investment Fund acquired an interest in the historic department store via Australian firm Signa Holdings, which acquired a 50pc stake in Selfridges in August 2022. The deal marks a trifecta of investments in the UK by the PIF after owning a majority of Newcastle United in 2021 and a shareholder in Aston Martin.

Via Facebook / @Selfridges

The PIF is controlled by the nation’s visionary Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who is changing the face of his country with undertakings like the Vision 2030 initiative and gathering international clout with global investments to boost the development of its economy.

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The Qatari royal family took over Harrods in 2010 in a landmark £1.5b deal.Via Facebook / @Harrods

A spokesperson for Signa confirmed Saudi Arabia’s interest in Selfridges to The Telegraph, adding that “The ownership of Selfridges has not changed.” what we find most interesting is that with the latest purchase, the Saudi royals find themselves pitched against longtime rivals Qatar royal family who own the iconic London department store Harrods right across the street.

The world has witnessed an intense bidding war between the two countries for the ultra-expensive $450 million Leonardo Da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi painting; it would be exciting to see the effects of these latest developments.

Saudi prince MBS with Softbank’s Matayoshi Son.

The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund is among the wealthiest worldwide-
With $700 billion in its kitty, the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund is undoubtedly one of the most affluent wealth funds globally. Within the nation, the Public Investment Fund is invested in ambitious projects like Neom, the Red Sea Project, Qiddiya, Roshn, and the Diriyah Project. The fund was created in 1971 and is chaired by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Its world-class investment portfolio includes a chunky stake in Azimut-Benetti, one of the world’s leading megayacht builders, Italian supercar maker Horacio Pagani SpA, Reliance Retail, Blackstone, Uber Technologies Incorporation, and, more recently, London’s Selfridges among other companies all over the planet. PIF has created over 84 companies and over 500,000 jobs in 13 sectors.

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With over 15 years of experience in luxury journalism, Neha Tandon Sharma is a notable senior writer at Luxurylaunches. Her expertise spans luxury yachts, high-end fashion, and celebrity culture. Beyond writing, her passion for fantasy series is evident. Beginning with articles on women-centric gadgets, she's now a leading voice in luxury, with a fondness for opulent superyachts. To date, her portfolio boasts more than 2 million words, often penned alongside a cappuccino.