Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund may be considering a $12 billion takeover of UK-based international retailer Marks & Spencer, Arabian Business reports.
The chain, which reported a near-10 percent drop in profit last year, has not commented on the matter, but its share price on the London Stock Exchange rose on Thursday and Friday amid the speculation.
Marks & Spencer operates some 1,000 locations internationally. There are two shops in Qatar, with another one expected to come up in Doha Festival City (alongside IKEA Doha) by next year.
The Qatar Investment Authority already owns spades of UK-based assets, including Harrods, the Shard, the Olympic Village and 20 percent of the London Stock Exchange.
Its purchase of another beloved UK chain is not outside of the realm of possibility, but whether the purchase actually takes place remains to be seen.