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Rediff.com  » Business » Rs 3,300 cr gives Sahara keys to Grosvenor House

Rs 3,300 cr gives Sahara keys to Grosvenor House

Last updated on: December 31, 2010 13:01 IST

Rs 3,300 cr gives Sahara keys to Grosvenor House

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BS Reporter in Mumbai

Rounding off a year that saw Indian mergers & acquisitions hit a record $71 billion, the Sahara Group has bought Grosvenor House hotel in Central London.

The deal, struck by group firm Aamby Valley for 470 million pounds (about Rs 3,300 crore), makes it one of the largest acquisitions in the hospitality space by an Indian company.

Royal Bank of Scotland, which took control of the property in 2001, sold it to Sahara at a knock-down price after two previous auctions failed.

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Image: Grosvenor House hotel in Central London.

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Grosvenor House, located on London's prestigious Park Lane in Mayfair, is an iconic landmark with 420 rooms, 74 suites and 27 meeting rooms covering over 4,000 sq m.

It also houses Europe's largest banquet space -- The Great Room -- which has been the venue of several prominent awards evenings, charity balls and is often seen on British television. It is one of the largest ballrooms in Europe, with a maximum capacity of 2,000.

A Sahara statement on Thursday said it has plans to make Grosvenor House the most sought-after destination in London.

As a part of its plan, Sahara will add a number of restaurants, including Indian restaurant Namak, a grand bar, night club and large business centre.

Subrata Roy, managing worker & chairman, Sahara Group, said the hotel's valuation three years ago was more than 1 billion pounds.

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Image: Subrata Roy, managing worker and chairman, Sahara Group.

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"But we have managed to buy it at much less after long negotiations," he said.

Roy said the acquisition is a part of the group's major expansion plans.

In addition to the Grosvenor House acquisition, London will be the gateway for Sahara to introduce some of its new business ventures internationally.

RBS had refurbished the entire hotel in the past two years and it has been under Marriott management.

The acquisition was brokered by Richard Lewczynski of Blandford Goldsmith. RBS had originally hoped to get as much as 700 million pounds from the sale, but lowered its target later due to a lukewarm response. RBS has been trying to offload the hotel for three years.


Image: The Grosvenor House.

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