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Shad Khan buys Toronto hotel, pursuing troubled Takata

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TORONTO – Shad Khan, the owner and CEO of the Jacksonville Jaguars, London-based Fulham Football Club and founder of Flex-N-Gate Group, announced Friday that he has arranged through various family holdings to buy the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto. There are news reports that Khan's Flex-N-Gate company is one of five suitors for Takata, the Toyoko-based maker of air bags that have ruptured and killed at least 16 people and have been recalled worldwide.

The Four Seasons sale price of $225 million Canadian ($172 million in U.S. dollars) was confirmed upon closing of the deal Friday. The purchase from an affiliate of Kingdom Holding Company has been approved by all appropriate regulatory bodies.

“My admiration and respect for the Four Seasons brand is deep and immense, and the importance and prestige associated with Four Seasons Hotel Toronto is something that I fully appreciate and, in fact, inspired me to explore whether this dream had the potential of becoming a reality," Khan said.

Khan will take immediate ownership of the property, which will continue to be managed by Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. 

Flex-N-Gate, which makes bumpers and headlights, but doesn't make air bags, will go up against established suppliers, such as Stockholm-based Autoliv Inc., Chinese-owned Key Safety Systems Inc. and Japan's Daicel Corp," Bloomberg News reported Friday. Private equity firms KKR & Co. and Bain Capital, partnering with Daicel, are also said to have submitted bids.

A naturalized U.S. citizen, Khan arrived from Pakistan in 1967 at age 16 to study at the University of Illinois. With a B.S. in industrial engineering in 1971, he became Flex-N-Gate’s engineering manager. In 1978, Khan left and with $13,000 in savings and $50,000 from the Small Business Loan Corporation, he created the start-up Bumper Works, which revolutionized the industry through an innovative one-piece bumper design that remains the industry standard.

Khan eventually returned to buy Flex-N-Gate, which was ranked in 2015 by Automotive News as the 10th-largest original equipment supplier in North America and the 38th largest supplier in the world. Flex-N-Gate employs more than 18,750 people at 55 manufacturing facilities and nine product development and engineering facilities.

Khan’s dream of owning an NFL team became reality on December 14, 2011, in a unanimous 32-0 vote by NFL owners in support of his purchase of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The first team owner of minority ethnicity in NFL history, Khan serves on several influential NFL committees and was a charter board member of the NFL Foundation.

In 2013, Khan complemented his sports holdings with the purchase of Fulham Football Club, which is currently in the top half of the table in the Sky Bet Championship.