Lebanon’s Aboukhater Said to Buy Seven InterContinental Hotels

Lebanese businessman Toufic Aboukhater purchased seven hotels branded by InterContinental Hotels Group Plc (IHG), including the 100-year old Carlton hotel in Cannes, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The Morgan Stanley Real Estate Fund VI International sold the hotels on April 12, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Morgan Stanley, once the biggest property investor among Wall Street banks, sold the hotels for about 450 million euros ($652 million), according to one of the people. The fund had purchased the hotels in 2006 for 634 million euros.

The group of InterContinental-branded hotels sold also includes properties in Amsterdam, Madrid, Rome, Frankfurt, Vienna and Budapest.

London-based Cedar Capital Partners, which specializes in hotel investments, helped with the sale and will manage the assets on behalf of Aboukhater, a resident of Monaco, according to one of the people. Cedar Capital declined to comment.

Morgan Stanley (MS) raised the real-estate fund toward the end of the property surge when market prices were at or near the peak. At the time, it was the largest private fund targeting high-return real-estate investments.

Once the second-largest U.S. securities firm, Morgan Stanley converted to a bank holding company in September 2008 and accepted $10 billion of government bailout funds to survive the financial credit crisis.

London-based Morgan Stanley spokesman Hugh Fraser declined to comment when reached by phone.

To contact the reporter on this story: Massoud A. Derhally in Beirut, Lebanon, at mderhally@bloomberg.net; Armorel Kenna in Milan at akenna@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net; Celeste Perri at cperri@bloomberg.net

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