Im­pris­oned In­dian ty­coon seals deal to keep ho­tels: firm

The China Post - - BUSINESS INDEX & -

The Sa­hara Group of jailed In­dian ty­coon Subrata Roy said Mon­day it had reached a deal with the UK’s bil­lion­aire Reuben broth­ers to avert the sale of three luxury ho­tels over­seas.

Roy, who was jailed for contempt in March 2014, had tried to sell the prop­er­ties — the Plaza Ho­tel and the Dream Down­town in New York and Lon­don’s Grosvenor House — to raise the US$1.6 bil­lion he needs to se­cure bail.

The Sa­hara Group said David and Simon Reuben were “in the fi­nal stage” of ne­go­ti­a­tions to take over the com­pany’s loan port­fo­lio.

“The ne­go­ti­a­tions that are al­ready un­der way are ex­pected to gen­er­ate new money for meet­ing the group’s im­me­di­ate re­quire­ments in the Hon’ble Supreme Court of In­dia,” it said in a state­ment, re­fer­ring to the bail money.

“It is a mat­ter of great sat­is­fac­tion to our chair­man, Shri Subrata Roy Sa­hara, that the In­dian flag will con­tinue to fly on th­ese three glob­ally-renowned ho­tels.”

Roy’s Sa­hara me­dia-to-fi­nance em­pire has made sev­eral failed at­tempts to come up with the bail money since he was jailed for fail­ing to com­ply with a court or­der.

The court had or­dered him to re­pay 200 bil- lion ru­pees (US$3.2 bil­lion) to mil­lions of small savers through a bond scheme that reg­u­la­tors had de­clared il­le­gal.

Sa­hara has al­ways in­sisted it was only help­ing poor and mainly ru­ral in­vestors through the scheme, while Roy says he has been a vic­tim of “char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion.”

The flam­boy­ant busi­ness­man, known for his rags-to-riches story and man­sion mod­eled on the White House, be­gan ne­go­ti­at­ing with po­ten­tial buy­ers for his ho­tels last Au­gust.

The court had al­lowed him ac­cess in jail to sec­re­taries, video-con­fer­enc­ing and com­put­ers to ease ne­go­ti­a­tions.

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