Qatar agrees to buy New York's Plaza Hotel

The Plaza Hotel, New York. Photo credit: zopalic/Pixabay

The Gulf state of Qatar entered a deal to acquire New York's Plaza Hotel for approximately $600 million through the state-owned Katara Holding, according to a report from CNBC. 

Katara will take over ownership of the hotel along with a 75-percent stake from Sahara India Pariwar. 

The acquisition comes just a few days after United Capital Real Estate Development filed a lawsuit against Subrata Roy, chairman of Sahara India Pariwar and Sahara's U.S. division, claiming they breached a contract by seeking other buyers for the Plaza Hotel, according to Arabian Business

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United also has alleged in a complaint filed in New York state court on June 22 that Roy and Sahara U.S. fraudulently encouraged United to sign deals, show proof of funds and place money in escrow. United is seeking $1 billion in damages along with interest and attorney costs for the claims. 

The group's complaint also claims United agreed to acquire Sahara's 85-percent stake in the Dream Downtown hotel in New York. Roy signed two contracts for these sales on Feb. 19 and Feb. 27, 2018 on his company's behalf. 

This recent lawsuit follows a complaint from Ashkenazy Acquisition and Kingdom Holding in May 2018 for allegedly breaking their deal that gives the two companies the right to match another offer. They matched the offer from a Shahal Khan-led group agreeing to pay $600 million for a purchase agreement slated to be complete on June 25. Sandeep Wadhwa, president of Sahara U.S., disagreed with Ashkenazy and Kingdom Holding's claims and planned to file a response in court. However, the group has not yet filed that response. 

The Plaza Hotel has changed hands numerous times in the past, including to current President Donald Trump. Trump sold the hotel more than 20 years ago as he filed for bankruptcy. Israel-based Elad Group converted a major portion of the Plaza into condominiums during its ownership. AccorHotels' Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand currently manages the property.

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