Privately-owned Spanish department store chain El Corte Inglés has sold a 10% business stake to Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani, an investor from Qatar, for a total amount of €1.000 million. It is the first time that El Corte Ingles has opened its share capital to a foreign investor. Most of its shareholders are the descendants of Ramon Areces, who founded the company in the 1930s.

According to the company, the shares will come from its treasury stock and Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jaber Al Thani will have a seat on the board. “The new stakeholder is going to cooperate in our growth and expansion,” said group’s president Dimas Gimeno Álvarez. Currently, El Corte Inglés only operates in Spain and Portugal.

The company has a very diversified business which includes fashion, food and household goods, among other activities such as travel booking.