On the chance that the obscenely expensive condos in the building distract you, let us remind you that the Plaza's owner is still fumbling through various states of financial decrepitude. Today the Journal reports that David and Simon Reuben, billionaire brothers who live in Monaco, are paying $800 million to the Bank of China to become part of the messy and never-ending saga surrounding the hotel's ownership. The Reubens struck a deal with the Sahara Group, the Indian company that controls the Plaza, to acquire the debt on all three of the company's properties: the Plaza, London's Grosvenor House, and the Dream Hotel downtown.
The whole situation is incredibly confusing, and the Journal says its unclear what the Reubens' involvement means or if they have any plans to actually control the hotels. The Sahara Group has been trying to sell the hotels for awhile to help get its chairman, Subrata Roy, out of jail in India (his bail is set at $1.6 billion). The Sahara Group defaulted last year on loans granted from the Bank of China, and earlier this year, the bank seized control of the Grosvenor House.
According to a statement from Sahara, this $800M will buy them some time to keep negotiating the terms of the loan: "The deal restores Sahara's ability to renegotiate the loan terms with the new lender, or with third parties. The negotiations that are already underway are expected to generate new money for meeting the Group's immediate requirements in the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India."
So in sum: it's all a big mess, and now there are parties from China, India, and Monaco involved.
· Billionaire Brothers Jump into Plaza Hotel Fray Draft [WSJ]
· All coverage of the Sahara Group [Curbed]
· The Plaza coverage [Curbed]