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Dorchester Collection owner emerges as leading bidder for Sahara's hotels

(Europe Hotel)

The Sultan of Brunei has reportedly offered $2 billion to acquire three hotels currently owned by the Sahara Group and embattled head Subrata Roy. The three hotels are New York’s Plaza Hotel, London’s Grosvenor House and the Dream Hotel in lower Manhattan.

However, the Sultan and as extension the Dorchester Collection, has been under great scrutiny of late after harshe new anti-gay laws were enacted in Brunei, which reportedly include such measures as death by stoning for homosexuals and adulterers. These proclomations led to a series of boycotts of the Beverly Hills Hotel and Dorchester properties in Europe that have cost millions of dollars in lost revenue, Dorchester has said.

Additional reports say that Cyrus Poonawala, whose pharmaceutical company is among the world’s largest makers of pediatric vaccines, is also interested in Sahara's hotels, but only the Grosvenor.

Meanwhile, Roy, who has been in jail for five months on charges of defaulting Rs. 20,000 crores owed to his depositors, has been ordered to pay Rs. 10,000 crore to get out on bail.

He told the Supreme Court the past week that he is close to finalising a deal with a foreign buyer, whom he didn’t name saying he couldn’t till the deal was done.