Saudi Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, who owns a 50-percent stake in The Plaza New York, has reportedly partnered with Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp., which owns several properties in New York, including Barneys on Madison Avenue and the NYLO hotel, for the buyout of Sahara’s stake in the hotel. Ashkenazy and Al-Waleed are expected to move to purchase the remaining shares from Sahara chief Subrata Roy and a “confusing tangle” of other stakeholders.
India’s Supreme Court has been struggling since August 2012 to make the group pay Rs25,000 crore and deposit it with market regulator SEBI. The company, in turn, has been looking to sell the three international properties, which include the Dream Hotel in New York’s Meatpacking District, Grosvenor House in London and The Plaza, for several years, but in spite of many offers, all of the deals have fallen through. Back in March, Texas’ MG Capital LLC offered to buy the Plaza Hotel for more than $550 million, and a $1.5-billion deal with Al-Waleed and the Qatar Investment Authority fell apart in September 2016.
Ashkenazy and the Saudi prince are looking to get control of the hotel from Roy, who has been fighting charges of scamming billions from investors since 2014.
A Sahara group spokesperson said that “no such deal is on table for the Plaza.” Replying to a PTI query, the spokesperson said all three hotels are “cross-collaterized so only Plaza can not be sold.” And Russell W. Rosen, a lawyer for Sahara US Corporation, said that Prince Al-Waleed and Ashkenazy do not have a right to force a buyout or purchase the Plaza.
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