Indian billionaire makes play for London's Grosvenor House

Indian billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla has reportedly offered £550 million, or around $935 million, to acquire London's Grosvenor House hotel from Indian conglomerate Sahara Group, whose embattled chairman currently is in jail for alleged contempt of court.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sahara is under pressure from Indian regulators and the country's Supreme Court to raise funds to pay billions of dollars to bondholders. Sahara says it has already returned all money due to investors.

On Tuesday, the court lifted a ban on the sale of Sahara's overseas properties and said jailed company founder Subrata Roy would be able to leave his cell to participate in negotiations on potential deals.


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Sahara first approached the Poonawalla family in May about the sale of the five-star London hotel, Poonawalla told The Wall Street Journal.

Other Sahara-owned hotels rumored to be up for sale include New York's Plaza Hotel and the Dream Hotel.

The Grosvenor has 420 rooms and 74 suites spread over eight floors, and was valued at £516 million in February 2014 by Jones Lang LaSalle.

Poonawalla is chairman of the Poonawalla Group, and is reportedly India's 16th richest man, according to Forbes


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