The Ritz London’s transformation from a family affair to a Netflix drama.
Following 133 years opening every day, including throughout the first and second world wars, Covid-19 forced The Ritz London to close its doors for the first time on March 27, 2020. They have remained closed ever since.
The same day The Ritz London announced it had been acquired by a Qatari investment fund.
Negotiations leading to the deal to sell The Ritz had been acrimonious, involving a bitter family feud between previous owners Sir Frederick and Sir David Barclay. The brothers acquired the landmark London property in Mayfair for £75 million in 1995.
The transaction price for the recent sale was not released but Sir Frederick Barclay said prior to the deal being announced that he placed a minimum value of £1 Billion on the property.
It has now emerged that levels of acrimony have reached new heights.
The BBC today reports of CCTV footage allegedly showing a nephew of Sir Frederick Barclay planting a surveillance device at The Ritz London.
Sir Frederick Barclay and daughter Amanda are using the CCTV footage in suing three of Sir David Barclay’s sons, Aidan, Alistair, and Howard, for invasion of privacy.
The usually extremely private brothers have been placed under numerous media spotlights following this bitter falling out.
The components of the tale of the acquisition are now reading like the plot for a new Netflix drama, and continue to thicken.
It has been widely reported that the CCTV footage shows a listening device being planted in the conservatory at The Ritz London. Apparently, this is where Sir Frederick liked to conduct some of his ‘more private’ business meetings, including the sale of The Ritz.
The CCTV footage is claimed to include conversations around a sale price of £1.3 billion, yet the world famous landmark hotel was apparently sold for half that amount.
The claims and counterclaims from both sides of the family air details that no family would want, especially a previously extremely private one.
An official defence to the claims has yet to be filed and a trial will take place at a later date. Unless of course, previous family values of privacy are not reacquired in advance.