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Suitors offer $2.2 bn for Sahara hotels

According to sources, there is no Indian entity in the fray and all the five parties involved in the deal - which will be a combination of lien, mortgage and sale - are foreigners. Earlier, there were three offers that were under consideration, sources said.

Mail Today Bureau   New Delhi     Last Updated: August 19, 2014  | 13:28 IST
Sahara Chairman Subrata Roy
Sahara Chairman Subrata Roy

There are as many as five suitors, including a Chinese entity and a Middle East royal family, in the race for a mortgage-cum-sale deal for the three overseas luxury hotels of the Sahara Group with offers ranging from $2.1-$2.2 billion.

According to sources, there is no Indian entity in the fray and all the five parties involved in the deal - which will be a combination of lien, mortgage and sale - are foreigners. Earlier, there were three offers that were under consideration, sources said.

The negotiations for the deal - involving New York's Plaza Hotel and Dream Hotel and London's Grosvenor House - are being carried out directly by Sahara Chairman Subrata Roy from the improvised office in Tihar Jail and no merchant bankers are being used as intermediaries.

The Sahara Group is also engaged in talks for sale of 200 acres it owns in Vasai, on the outskirts of Mumbai. The negotiations for sale of this land, valued at Rs 1,500 crore, are being carried out with real estate developer Atul Infratech.

Roy, who has been in jail for more than five months after failing to appear at a contempt hearing in the long-running case for non-refund of more than Rs 20,000 crore to depositors, was asked by the Supreme Court (SC) to pay Rs 10,000 crore to get regular bail, out of which Rs 5,000 crore must be in cash and the rest in bank guarantee.

The SC gave Roy a 15-day extension on Thursday for negotiating sale of his hotels and assets. His lawyer had submitted that talks with the buyers are going in the right direction and pleaded with the court for the extension.

The apex court had on August 1 allowed Roy and the two jailed directors of his Group to use the jail conference room for 10 days starting from August 5 to hold negotiations with potential buyers. It had asked the Delhi Government to issue a notification by August 4 for converting the conference room into jail, which can be used by Roy and the directors for 10 working days from 6 am to 8 pm for holding negotiations with prospective buyers.

The Bench had also permitted them to avail the service of three staff-two secretarial and one technical person-during negotiations with a clear direction that they would not be allowed to stay overnight.

It was made clear that Saharas would foot the bills for using the Wi-fi facility of the conference room and get the other gadgets like landline telephones with STD/ISD facilities at their own cost.

WHEELS OF THE 'DEAL'

>> Five suitors, including a Chinese entity and a Middle East royal family, in the race for a mortgage-cumsale deal for the three overseas luxury hotels of the Sahara Group.

>> The offers range from $2.1-$2.2 billion.

>> There is no Indian entity in the fray.

>> The deal will be a combination of lien, mortgage and sale.

>> Earlier, there were three offers that were under consideration.

>> The negotiations for the deal-involving New York's Plaza Hotel and Dream Hotel and London's Grosvenor House-are being carried out directly by Sahara chairman Subrata Roy.

>> No merchant bankers are being used as intermediaries.

>> The Sahara Group is also engaged in talks for sale of 200 acres it owns in Vasai, on the outskirts of Mumbai.

>> The negotiations for sale of this land, valued at Rs 1,500 crore, are being carried out with real estate developer Atul Infratech.

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