ANSA has learned that Qatar Holding, which has recently bought Paris St. Germain, is in the final stages of talks with U.S.
billionaire Tom Barrack on taking control of Smeralda Holding. The deal has not been confirmed officially yet, but it is reportedly part of a revival plan that includes recapitalisation, necessary to pay off the group's debts that total around 200 million euros, and new investments. Smeralda Holding owns four of the most famous 5-star hotels in the world: the Cala di Volpe, the Pitrizza, the Romazzino and the Cervo Hotel. The company also owns the Marina and dockyard of Porto Cervo and the Pevero Golf Club, one of the 100 most important golf courses in the world. Costa Smeralda was founded in the '60s by Aga Khan. Since 2003 it was chaired by Lebanese entrepreneur Barrack through private equity fund Colony Capital, which took over control from the U.S. Starwood Hotel, which still manages the hotel structures. The Qatar fund gathered a 14.3% participation over the years, and should now take acquire a much larger stake.