London, May 27 (ANI): Billionaire businessman Mohamed Al Fayed yesterday said he sold the upmarket Harrods in frustration after the government-appointed pensions trustee prevented him from "taking my profit".
The Telegraph quoted Fayed, who owned the Knightsbridge store for 26 years, as saying that he had spent three months trying to get a dividend to pay into the firm's pension fund, which caters for 5,000 current and past staff.
He, however, lost patience with the delays caused by the official trustee and sold it for 1.5 billion pounds to the Qatari royal family.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, he said: "It's difficult, but it came to a moment where I felt completely disillusioned. How this can happen? I've owned the place for 26 years. I have 5,000 people to look after. We have a pension scheme, which it is my duty to subsidise."
"Come every year, sometime £10 million, £20 million, £30 million I pay from the profits to be sure my pensioners have money to live. For three months I've been trying to get a dividend. They say tomorrow, next week, lawyers ... I say how this can happen? Three months I've been trying to get my finance director and the managing director to clear the dividend," said Fayed.
The Qatari royal family has reportedly bought the store for 1.5 billion pounds through Qatar Holding, the investment arm of the Qatar Investment Authority, which trades on behalf of the state.
However, Fayed suggested that a clause had been put in the contract for the sale of the store that would double the price if they removed the memorials to his son, Dodi, and Diana, Princess of Wales.
On leaving Harrods, he said: "Of course it makes me sad... you can go ask everyone, people don't want me to go. But first of all I can't take this. I am 77 years old, right. I have children, I have grandchildren, you know... I have done it. And time for me now to rest. And enjoy." (ANI)