Sahara says ‘devious attempt’ to lower price of its hotels

NEW DELHI: Embattled Sahara group on Tuesday said there is a “devious attempt” to lower the price for its marquee hotels and disturb the sentiment of potential bidders, amid reports that a bidder has reduced the offer price for the properties.

UK-based family office 3 Associates, whose USD 1.3 billion offer for Sahara’s three prized overseas hotels was rejected by the group last month, has reportedly reduced the offer amount.

“We have no information of any such bid or offer,” a Sahara spokesperson said in a statement and termed them as baseless cases.

The earlier offer was made by a consortium of family office investors, comprising Jesdev Saggar-led 3 Associates and others from the Middle East, for acquiring Sahara’s majority stake in three marquee hotel properties — the famed Grosvenor House in London, as well as the Park Plaza and Dream Downtown in New York.

Queries sent to Saggar remained unanswered.

Noting that it is amusing to know from a news item that a due diligence was done without the group’s knowledge and consultation, the spokesperson said, “these are baseless and speculative act of some wrong people”.

“The interest of such people lies somewhere else rather than in the deal,” he added.

On comments that New York Plaza Hotel might need more capital expenditure, the spokesperson said it “validates that it is a devious attempt to benchmark the price much lower than the actual market value of the properties in order to ruin the market and disturb the sentiment of the potential bidders”.

Sahara group, whose chief Subrata Roy was in jail for over two years in connection with a long-running dispute with markets regulator Sebi and is now out on parole, has been trying hard to raise funds, including through refinancing of loans on its overseas hotels

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