It’s been close to a month now since it was revealed that the Plaza Hotel was going to sell for upwards of $350 million, and the New York Post has now taken a deep dive into the murky saga surrounding the sale of the iconic hotel, and scooped up some new intel on the latest goings on there.
For instance, it’s no longer just a Saudi buyer that’s interested in purchasing the hotel as was previously reported, but instead there’s a partner from a neighboring country as well. The Saudi royal family member rumored to be buying the property has been revealed as Al-Waleed Bin Talel, who is looking to purchase a majority stake through his publicly traded company, Kingdom Holdings. That company already holds somewhere near a 25 percent stake in the hotel, and now, along with the Qatari Investment Authority, the group is looking to purchase principal owner, Sahara Group’s 75 percent stake for $550 million. That’s almost $200 million more than what was previously reported.
The Post has also given us a much needed breakdown of the current ownership of the hotel. Apartment from Sahara and Kingdom Holdings, other minor stakeholders are the Chatwal Family Trust, Sant Chatwal’s Dream Hotel Management, which operates differently from the Family Trust, Unite Here, Local 6, and another hotel management company, Fairmont.
The Plaza Hotel’s sale, which does not include the condos, but just the 282-room hotel, is part of a larger package comprised of the Dream Downtown Hotel, and Grosvenor House in London that Sahara is trying to unload for a total of $1.5 billion. That sale is currently being reviewed by Indian courts. Sahara’s founder, Subrata Roy, is currently serving jail time in the country for tax fraud, and the sale amount would bail him out (the bail was set at $1.5 billion).
Another reason the Saudi and Qatari companies want to take over the hotel is because they also have a stake in the management company running The Plaza, Fairmont. The latter has been managing the hotel since 2007, and a takeover by a different company would likely mean the end of their tenure.
Sahara purchased a majority stake in The Plaza from the Elad Group for $575 million, shortly before all the troubles started for its chief executive. Billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben had temporarily agreed to take over the $800 million debt the Sahara Group owed on the hotel last year, but in March it was revealed that they intended to put it on the auction bloc. That plan was quickly abandoned however, and was followed by talks of the sale. Now it remains to be seen if this latest attempt to rescue the hotel will succeed.
- Selling iconic Plaza Hotel isn’t going to be easy [NYP]
- The Plaza Hotel Is Off the Auction Block (For Now) [Curbed]
- Iconic Plaza Hotel May Sell to Mystery Saudi Royal Family Member [Curbed]