Engaged in a war of words with Sahara over a failed syndicate loan deal, US-based Mirach on Wednesday said it has returned the entire due diligence fees of $2.625 million to the Indian group but is willing to make a $2.05 billion offer for full buyout of their three iconic hotels.
Mirach Capital, run by Indian origin businessman Saransh Sharma, who had emerged as a white-knight in Sahara's efforts to secure release of its jailed chief Subrata Roy till its $2.05 billion financing deal got embroiled in an alleged ‘forged letter’ controversy, maintained that the Indian group remains an ‘unwilling seller’.
In a statement, Mirach said it has remitted $2.625 million to the Sebi-Sahara Fund, while ending the proposed loan to Sahara Group, which involved transfer of loans taken by Saharas from Bank of China for its three overseas hotels -- The Plaza and Dream Downtown in New York and the Grosvenor House in London -- to a new syndicate of investors.
"Under a December 10, 2014 agreement with Sahara, Mirach Capital Group was entitled to fees related to legal, accounting and transaction related costs to be paid by Sahara," it said, adding that it has returned the money to ‘wipe the slate clean’ in the wake of ‘unfounded allegations’ levelled against it.
"Though incurring expenses to date of $1,075,000 in related closing costs, Mirach has remitted the full amount back to Sahara, in an effort to show the Supreme Court of
India the group stands willing to incur costs while waiting for a fair ruling on February 20," Mirach added.
The US-based group further said that its CEO Saransh Sharma has also written to Sebi, the Amicus Curiae in the case and Sahara representatives about the remittance.
Sharma also told them that a notable bank would be contacting all applicable parties within the week confirming that blocked and earmarked funds are available for the purposes of completing the previously contemplated loan transaction, which will now be applicable towards a sale of Sahara's assets.
"Mirach stands ready, willing and able to close this transaction in an expedited manner should the Apex court and Sebi wish to see a swift resolution in favour of the creditors who have waited several years for some form of solace," Mirach quoted Sharma as having written in the letter.
Mirach further said that the group and its ‘syndicate of investors’ continue to stand ready, willing and able to execute a purchase of Sahara's assets, while it asked the Supreme Court to intervene in the matter.
The court had given time till February 20 for the Sahara-Mirach deal, but the deal fell apart after Bank of America came out with a disclosure that it was not involved in the deal as was being claimed.
Sahara later said that its own due diligence found a letter to be ‘forged’, which was purportedly from Bank of America and claimed to provide guarantees worth $1.05 billion for the Mirach-Sahara deal.
Mirach denied the forgery allegations, while both the groups have warned each other of legal action.
In Wednesday's statement, Mirach said it has "made an offer on all of the assets previously involved in the loan package, which could provide Roy and his creditors relief in the form of $2.05 billion."
Roy and his two colleagues are in jail for almost one year in a case related to repayment of investors' money, totalling Rs 20,000 crore (Rs 200 billion).
Image: Sahara group chief Subrata Roy; Photograph: Reuters