After years of attempts, investors have finally secured a deal to acquire the majority share of the historic Plaza Hotel in New York. The deal pegged at $600M which was confirmed by the Sahara Group, a top executive for the seller.
Shahal Khan, the founder of Dubai’s White City Ventures and Kamran Hakim of the Hakim Organization, were identified as the buyers in the said deal. The deal will close on June 25. The deal was confirmed by Sandeep Wadhwa, the head of corporate finance at the Sahara Group and Sant Singh, owner of the 5 percent sold in said deal.
The Plaza Hotel started operating in 1907. It is a city landmark and the only hotel listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The hotel has been a setting for famous movies such as North by Northwest and Home Alone 2. It was once owned by US President Donald Trump who lost it in 2005 due to reports of bankruptcy. On the same year, it was transformed into luxury condominiums, but a small part of the hotel including the Palm Court and the hotel’s underground food hall was retained.
The Sahara Group has made numerous attempts to sell the hotel. Last year, it hired brokerage firm Jones Lang LaSalle to initiate an auction of the building. Buyers deposited $30 million that they were to forfeit if they backed out of the said auction. It was done to ensure the sale.
The deal, which amounted to $600 million comprises of a refinancing around $410 million mortgages on the hotel. Qatari Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem Bin Jaber Al Thani (HBJ) holds the mortgage set to mature in July.
The chairman of the Sahara Group, Subrata Roy, and Chatwal purchased their shared stake in 2012. After the purchase, the Indian authorities sought to arrest Roy over a bond sale. He was imprisoned for two years and has been ordered to return millions of dollars.
In 2010, Sahara bought the Grosvenor House which is a historic hotel in London. Last year, Ashkenazy Acquisition with funding from HBJ acquired the hotel. As a result, HBJ took charge of the mortgage on the Plaza.
One of the buyers, Shahal Khan, has been attempting to buy the hotel for years. Some suggested that he use cryptocurrency to fund the deal, but the financing for such is an integration of traditional equity and debt.