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Sahara makes $600mn bid for NY Plaza

Last updated on: April 10, 2012 10:56 IST

Sahara makes $600mn bid for NY Plaza

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Sahara India Pariwar Ltd has made an unsolicited $600 million offer to acquire the landmark Plaza Hotel in New York, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to the paper, Sahara's offer values the hotel portion of the Plaza, spanning 230 rooms, at $400 million, with the remaining $200 million for the so-called retail portion of the hotel, which encompasses the hotel's banquet hall, fitness centre and other common areas wholly owned by El Ad, the US real-estate arm of Israeli entrepreneur Isaac Tshuva.

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Image: Sahara's founder Subrata Roy with his wife Swapna.
Photographs: Sahara Corporate Communications/Handout/Reuters

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Sahara makes $600mn bid for NY Plaza

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The deal would need the approval of Israeli-owned El Ad US Holding Inc and their partner in the hotel, Kingdom Holding Co, controlled by Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, it said.

Sahara's diversified business has interest in finance, infrastructure and housing, media and entertainment, consumer merchandise retail venture, manufacturing and information technology.

The company had a market capitalisation of $25.94 billion as of March 2011.

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Image: The Plaza Hotel in New York.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

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Sahara makes $600mn bid for NY Plaza

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The group is a major promoter of sports in India. It owned the New IPL team Pune Warriors India as well as a supreme sponsor of Indian cricket Team. They own 42.5 per cent stake in Formula One's Force India Formula 1 Team and also sponsors India national field hockey team.

"Kingdom is not a seller of its interest at this time," Kingdom spokesman Charles Henry said on Monday.

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Image: Long the site for famous performers and guests, it has also been the meeting place for important political meetings.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters

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Sahara makes $600mn bid for NY Plaza

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That doesn't block El Ad from selling its own interest, though Kingdom's approval of such a deal would be needed, said the paper.

In 2004, Kingdom sold its stake in the hotel, which then had 800 rooms, to El Ad only to buy back a portion shortly thereafter.

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Image: In 2004, Kingdom sold its stake in the hotel.
Photographs: Lucas Jackson/Reuters
Tags: Kingdom

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Sahara makes $600mn bid for NY Plaza

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Kingdom now owns 50 per cent of an entity that holds 130 of the Plaza's rooms and 25 per cent of another entity that holds 100 rooms that were to be sold as condominiums but are still rented out as hotel rooms.

El Ad owns the balance, the Journal said.

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Image: El Ad owns the balance.
Photographs: Chip East/Reuters
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Sahara makes $600mn bid for NY Plaza

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Sahara has paid a 10 per cent down payment for the 105-year-old landmark, The Economic Times said. Sahara's founder Subrata Roy has made an all-cash offer through a Mauritius-based subsidiary, Aamby Valley, according to the India Times.

The firm plunked down a cool $726 million for London's Grosvenor House hotel in 2010 and also made a bid for the Marriott chain's hotels in Britain.

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Image: Sahara has paid a 10 per cent down payment for the 105-year-old landmark.
Photographs: Peter Morgan/Reuters

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