New York, May 4 (IANS) The New York Plaza Hotel owned by Subrata Roy’s Sahara Group is under contract to be sold to a Dubai company and a New York real estate group for $600 million, according to media reports.
The prospective buyers have seven weeks to close the deal, Real Deal, a real estate newspaper, reported quoting sources close to the buyers.
The New York Times identified the buyers as Shahal Khan, founder of the Dubai-based family office White City Ventures, and Kamran Hakim of the Hakim Organization, a landlord in New York City.
The newspaper said the deal was confirmed by Sandeep Wadhwa, head of corporate finance at the Sahara Group, which owns a 70 per cent stake in the hotel, and Sant Singh Chatwal, a hotelier who owns the other 5 per cent being sold.
The Sahara Group is under liquidation in India to pay off debts amounting to several thousands of crores of rupees.
The Plaza Hotel founded in 1907 is one the city’s landmarks.
Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported employees at the hotel were on strike and that guests who had booked rooms costing as much as $1,000 a night were bing turned away.
While several reported deals to buy the hotel have failed, the deal with Khan and Hakim is expected to go through because they made an irrevocable $30 million deposit, the Times said.
However, the Times said that a partnership of the real estate firm Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talel-controlled Kingdom Holdings owns the remaining 25 per cent of the Plaza and they have the right of first refusal to buy the hotel at the same price.
The Real Deal said Sahara may consider a lower bid from Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation.
One of the sources for funding Khan and Hakim’s acquisition is a loan from David and Simon Reuben, whom the Real Deal described as “Mumbai-born British billionaires” who “bought the note on the Plaza from Sahara in 2015”.