A US consortium, which includes Bill Gates, Microsoft's chairman and chief executive, has offered to buy the Cliveden Hotel near London for $70 million.
The bid by Destination Europe is believed to have offered a premium of 19.5 per cent over the 1 May share price. Gate's involvement comes via his personal investment company, Cascade, which owns a 10 per cent stake in Destination. Cliveden housed the Astor family in the Edwardian era and in the 1960s gained notoriety as the place where John Profumo, Minister of War, began his affair with callgirl Christine Keeler.
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