Bill Gates has opened his wallet again, and this time he is seeking to acquire a 17th century Roman palazzo.
What Happened: The Daily Beast reports the Microsoft MSFT co-founder instructed the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts unit of his Cascade Investment LLC to make a $21-million down payment on the Palazzo Marini, with the goal of acquiring the property for $170 million. Gates co-owns Cascade Investment with Saudi investor Al Waleed bin Talal Al Saud.
Palazzo Marini covers four separate blocks and encompassed the entire side of Piazza San Silvestro in central Rome. It had been the home to Italian royalty and Pope Innocent XII commandeered the property to house the Pontifical Tribunal. In recent years, however, its residents included a pop-up Ikea store and a cafeteria for members of the Italian parliament. If the transaction goes through, the property will be transformed again into a luxury hotel.
What Else Happened: This is Gates’ second attempt this year at acquiring a luxury Italian property for hospitality purposes: The Daily Beast also reported that his attempt to buy Venice’s iconic Danieli Hotel when the property’s owner, Giuseppe Statuto Group, changed its mind about selling after securing a loan to finance renovations.
The Toronto-headquartered Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts recently opened new hotels in Minneapolis, Napa Valley, Fort Lauderdale and the Sicilian town of Taormina. The company’s newest hotel is opening this summer in Nashville.
Photo: Greg Rubenstein/Flickr Creative Commons
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