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Monday, July 27, 1998 Published at 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK

Business: The Company File

Gates' group seals Cliveden deal

Cliveden House: Luxury hotel and National Trust property

The luxury hotel, Cliveden House, formerly the family home of the Astors and the scene of the infamous Profumo affair, is set to be sold to the American consortium Destination Europe.

Shareholders in the Cliveden are reported to have agreed unconditionally to the US consortium, which includes Bill Gates, billionaire founder of Microsoft, taking a 77% controlling stake in the hotel group.

[ image: Christine Keeler used the hotel as a rendezvous]
Christine Keeler used the hotel as a rendezvous
Cliveden House overlooks the Thames in Berkshire and is notorious for the Profumo scandal in the 1960s in which the then defence minister, John Profumo, used the hotel to meet Christine Keeler, who was also having a relationship with a Soviet spy.

The property has been owned by the National Trust since 1942, but in 1990 it was put on a 100-year lease to the company.

A night's stay at Clivden House costs up to 750.

The Cliveden Group also manages the Cliveden Town House in Knightsbridge and the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath, and plans to open a new hotel in St Andrew Square, Edinburgh next year.

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