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Two foreign firms propose SC to buy Sahara’s hotels in London and New York

Apoorva Mandhani
16 Aug 2015 10:44 AM GMT
Two foreign firms propose SC to buy Sahara’s hotels in London and New York
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The Supreme Court has been approached by the two foreign firms, expressing their willingness to buy Sahara Group's three overseas hotels, Grosvenor House Hotel in London, the New York Plaza and Dream New York hotels.

British Company, Kane Capital Partners, has approached the Court with a Rs 6,370-crore proposal to acquire the Sahara Group's Grosvenor House hotel in London. The offer, if accepted, will function as a boon for furnishing the bail bond demanded by the Court for the release of Sahara Chief Subrata Roy. This offer will be looked into by the Supreme Court tomorrow.

As per the application as reported, Kane Capital Partners is a Lancashire-registered company dealing in real estate, infrastructure and related projects in the UK, Europe, Middle East and US markets. The company said it made the offer to the board Aamby Valley Mauritius Ltd, one of Sahara Group companies.

The Application said that "the applicant's funds are unencumbered and do not constitute any third party source and hence they are in a position to pay the money required to complete this transaction when this court directs." 

Kane Capital Partners brought to the Court’s attention that it had sent a firm letter of intent proposing to acquire Grosvenor House on July 31 to the Sahara directors. It alleged that the hotel had since been remortgaged in an attempt to take the property out of the Court's jurisdiction.

The firm reportedly expressed its willingness to deposit money in an escrow account within a week while seeking court's indulgence to facilitate the deal.

Referring to media reports, the plea further said, "Reuben Brothers had taken over the GHH and also two other luxury hotels in New York for $ 850 million (GBP 543) million debt buyout. They have given a four month of time to Sahara Group to repay the debt and free the charge on all the properties, failing which they could then sell the properties without any reference to the Sahara Group or this court at such price and in such manner as they so wish.”

A New York based consultant firm has also approached the Court, seeking the considerations for the sale of Sahara’s New York hotels. This is in view of the fact that Sahara had earlier rejected two offers for the properties.

Both these applications were mentioned by lawyer Subramanium Prasad before a bench headed by Justice T.S. Thakur.

Hearing the bail plea on March 23, 2014, the Apex Court had ordered the bail amount to be fixed at Rs. 10,000 crore. However, till date, the Sahara group has failed to deposit that amount.

Earlier in June, the Supreme Court allowed Sahara to sell certain properties in UP and ordered the proceeds to go to SEBI-Sahara Refund Account after adjusting transaction cost and taxes.

The Court however declined to unfreeze the accounts of the Group, saying that the Sahara Group can use the surplus amount it has after it complies with the order of the Supreme Court by which it had fixed the bail amount of Mr. Subrata Roy and others at Rs. 10,000 crore. The Court in its judgment also gave the format for the Bank Guarantee of Rs. 5,000 crores which is to be produced by Sahara to fulfill the bail requirements. You may read the LiveLaw story here.

You may read Livelaw’s coverage of the case here.

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