Sahara denies plans to sell Plaza Hotel
Multiple overseas publications, including?India?sDealCurry, reported that the assets were up for sale earlier this month, and later the?New York Post?reported that a $1.6 billion offer from an unidentified Mideast group was on the table for some portion of the firm?s assets. But it isn?t so, the firm claims.
?I would like to take this opportunity to set the record straight. Sahara is not looking to divest itself of these important assets at this time,? Sahara Chairman?Subrata Roy?said in a statement issued last The Plaza Hotelnight.
?This speculation has arisen because we have received offers, but that does not mean we have any intention of selling.?We view these properties as investments in our future and plan on developing them further with our partners in each location.?
Indian securities regulators are reportedly clamping down on the firm, claiming it sold $4.8 billion in bonds in violation of national laws ? what was dubbed overseas as a ?$5 billion nightmare? ? and Bank of China seeks the $1 billion in loans it fronted for the three properties, according to published reports.
But the Indian bond ordeal was stirring before the firm scooped up the storied Plaza, and when the firm purchased a controlling stake in the property last year many hoped the cash-rich firm would quell?Elad Properties? not-so-smooth condo conversion of parts of the property.
The conversion reduced the number of guest rooms from 800 to 280, and left some buyers, who had paid up to $50 million for their homes, questioning the quality of the renovations. But by most accounts the hotel is still operating smoothly and the downsize of hotel rooms if anything is viewed favorably.
?Even though its down from 800 rooms to its current size, it?s still one of the most famous hotels in the world, if not New York City,? said?Tom McConnell, head of?Cushman & Wakefield?s hotel transactions group, which is not involved with any negotiations relating to the Plaza or Sahara?s other assets.
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