• Qatar’s Sheikh Hamad buys a 10 per cent stake in El Corte Ingles
  • The deal was announced on 13 July
  • It is the first time El Corte Ingles has opened its share capital to a foreign investor

Former Qatari Prime Minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, has acquired a 10 per cent stake in Spain’s largest retailer, El Corte Ingles, in a deal worth €1bn ($1.1bn).

The deal was announced by the retailer on 13 July and is the first time that the company has opened its share capital to a foreign investor.

El Corte Ingles recorded €14.2bn in revenues in 2013 and is one of Spain’s largest employers.

The company is heavily orientated towards its home market, which is still struggling to recover from the world financial crisis of 2007-8.

Sheikh Hamad’s investment in El Corte Ingles comes two weeks after it was revealed that the Spanish football league (LFP) is mounting a legal challenge to the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

The Spanish league says that holding the tournament during Qatar’s winter will cost it an estimated $72m.

LFP’s appeal is the first formal legal challenge to Fifa’s decision to hold the World Cup over the months of November and December, rather than the June-July slot it usually occupies.