Bahraini PM Bids Farewell to his “Friend” & Partner in the Kempinski “Empire”, the Late Thai King

2016-10-21 - 3:00 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Bahraini Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa described late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the monarch of Thailand, who passed away on on Thursday (October 13, 2016) as a "friend". In fact he was a friend but what the PM, who was quick to send a letter of condolence to the Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn, did not mention is that the late monarch was also his partner in the international Kempinski Hotels group.

In an exclusive interview with, an inside source unveiled details regarding this partnership. The source notes that there were ongoing negotiations between the Prime Minister of Bahrain Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, who currently owns 20% of Kempinski Hotels, and late King of Thailand Bhumibol Adulyadej, who holds 80% ownership of the hotelier group.

Kempinski Hotels was founded in 1897 and owns, operates, and manages 112 hotels and luxury resorts around the world.

The further states in a report on June 23, 2016 that negotiations discuss the Thai king selling a majority of his shares (60%) for an estimated price of 1 billion Euros. This seems like a high enough rate for the Bahraini PM to be saddened by his "friend's" demise.

According to statistics, Kempinski Hotels closed the year 2014 with the best financial year in the group's history - for the sixth time in a row. An increase of 6.5 percent to 1.27 billion Euros enabled turnover to pass the billion mark once more. This clearly demonstrates the success of the group's strategy, and thus explains the Prime Minister's great grief over the loss of his "friend"!

The source said that following the negotiations, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was assumed to be the wealthiest ruler of the world with an estimated fortune of 30 Billion US Dollars, would continue to hold 20% ownership of Kempinski Hotels.

There are no reports issued recently revealing the outcome of that deal, but what is confirmed is that the PM still owns 20% of the hotelier group.

This is not the only similarity these two men both shared. The late Thai King, who was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and died at the age of 88 as a result, was recognized as the longest serving king of Thailand having reigned over the country for 70 years. The Bahraini Premier is also known to be the longest-serving current prime minister in the world, who has been in office for over 45 years.

Nonetheless, King Bhumibol's sheer longevity raised his standing. His 70-year reign saw Thailand's population explode from 17m to 68m and its economy grow 40-fold. He lived through 26 prime ministers, 19 constitutions and 15 coup attempts, nine successful. Despite his lack of constitutional clout, he could ensure a government's collapse with a subtle indication of displeasure, or shore one up with a perceived sign of support. He remained a deeply revered figure with a unifying appeal. The king's death; therefore, leaves a huge vacuum at the centre of Thai politics.

On the other hand, the Bahraini Prime Minister has left his country torn and governed by policing and sectarian policies. The island kingdom's economy has extremely deteriorated as well. The public debt increased five folds by about 500% over the past five years and the budget deficit also grew 53 folds, i.e. by approximately 5300%.

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