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DUBAI (Reuters) - Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding 4280.SE and its partners have agreed to sell Movenpick Hotels and Resorts to its associate firm AccorHotels (ACCP.PA).

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FILE PHOTO - Saudi Arabian billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal sits for an interview with Reuters in the office of the suite where he has been detained at the Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia January 27, 2018, REUTERS/Katie Paul

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2018, Kingdom Holding said in a statement. Kingdom has a 5.7 percent stake in Accor SA.

AccorHotels said earlier it had agreed to buy rival Movenpick Hotels & Resorts for 560 million Swiss francs ($567 million), in a deal which Accor said would boost its earnings and marks the latest example of the French group’s ambitious takeover strategy.

Founded in 1973 in Switzerland, Movenpick Hotels & Resorts operates in 27 countries with 84 hotels, and has a strong presence in Europe and the Middle East.

Earlier this year, Kingdom sold its stake in the Four Seasons Hotel in Beirut for around $100-115 million including debt, sources had told Reuters.

Prince Alwaleed, the kingdom’s most recognized business figure, was freed on Jan. 27 after being held at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel for three months on the orders of his cousin Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of an anti-corruption crackdown.

Alwaleed, a nephew of Saudi King Salman, is closely watched in international markets because of investments in companies such as Citigroup Inc (C.N) and Twitter (TWTR.N).

Reporting by Saeed Azhar,; Editing by Davide Barbuscia

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