It’s been a while since we checked in on the ongoing saga of India’s Sahara Group. Last year, the company was reportedly offered $1.3 billion for its three international properties: the Plaza and Dream Hotels in New York City and the Grosvenor House in London.
Now, a Texas enterprise, MG Capital LLC, has offered to buy the Plaza Hotel for more than $550 million. The revelation came earlier this week when India’s Supreme Court asked the beleaguered company to deposit a third of its outstanding debts by April 17. The court has been struggling since August 2012 to make the group pay Rs 25,000 crore and deposit it with market regulator SEBI. Thus far, the group has deposited around Rs 11,000 crore.
But senior advocate Kapil Sibal told the court that Sahara did not know about MG Capital. When the bench asked the realtor to deposit Rs 2,000 crore with the Supreme Court registry as a sign of good faith, its counsel said it was ready to deposit Rs 100 crore. The bench then directed the firm incorporated in Texas to deposit Rs 750 crore by April 10 with a warning that if it backed out after depositing the money, the advance would be forfeited.
The Sahara group also told the court that it will attempt to sell 13 properties across India, including townships and land, to raise more than Rs 5,000 crore by the April 17 deadline. The bench refused to give 22 more months to Sahara, as requested by Sibal, to pay up the remaining Rs 14,000 crore.