Who’s buying The Ivy?

Billionaire Richard Caring has agreed the sale of his entire Ivy restaurants stake, according to a report in The Times – but mystery surrounds the identity of the buyer,

Citing sources in the City, the paper reported that Carling had turned down a £700m offer from Sheikh Mansour’s Abu Dhabi Investment Authority for his stake in Troia, while Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund had dropped out of the bidding.

A third Middle Eastern potentate, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim, the former prime minister of Qatar, already owns 50% of Troia, under an arrangement in which Carling retained control. Troia comprises the original Ivy restaurant in West Street, The Ivy Asia and Ivy Café spinoff brands, Granary Square and the Brasserie of Light in Selfridges.

The City sources told The Times that the preferred bidder was expected to be granted exclusivity this week, with a view to completing the deal next month.

Caring, 76, made his original fortune in the rag trade and bought The Ivy in 2005. He has opened more than 30 spinoffs under the brand name in the past decade.

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