Spanish store chain sells 10 percent share to Qatari Sheikh for $1.1 billion

MarketsAssociated Press

Spain's leading El Corte Ingles department store chain says it has sold a 10 percent stake to a Qatari sheikh for 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion).

El Corte Ingles S.A. said Tuesday the stake was sold to Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani, a former prime minister of Qatar.

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It is the first time the company has sold shares to a foreign investor.

El Corte Ingles had a turnover of some 14 billion euros in 2013 for a net profit of 174 million euros.

The food, clothing and household goods retailer, which is not listed, has about 90 stores in Spain and employs 95,000 people.

The company is believed to have suffered as domestic demand in Spain slumped during the economic crisis.