India's SEBI struggles to sell Sahara hotels


The Sahara Group drama keeps on going: After it was tasked last month with selling the hotel company's assets, Indian market regulator SEBI has reportedly tapped HDFC Realty and SBI Capital to help in the sale process.

Sources said that HDFC Realty and SBI Capital would help the markets regulator in valuation as well as the sale process for the selected properties as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

When SEBI was assigned the task of selling the hotels under the supervision of Justice B. N. Agrawal, former Supreme Court Judge, they were ordered to seek the help of “experts or expert agencies,” if required. Sahara is involved in the sale process to ensure that each property fetches a fair price, which is not to be less than 90 percent of the circle rates for the area in question without the permission of the court. 

Justice Agrawal is currently overseeing the process of refund of money to investors of Sahara, which has already submitted the title deeds of 86 properties to SEBI. These do not include Sahara’s three overseas hotels, the Aamby Valley resort town and the Sahara Star hotel in Mumbai.

The sale was ordered by the court to generate the bail money for release of Sahara chief Subrata Roy who has been in jail for more than two years. The task has proved challenging, though, with potential bidders not showing up to an auction for Vijay Mallya’s Kingfisher House building.

“What I am worried is that there are several properties worth approximately Rs 40,000 crore. Now we have to go for title scrutiny, we have to get all that done and that is a herculean task,” SEBI’s lawyer Arvind Datar said.

Source: The Hindu