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HindustanTimes Sat,27 Dec 2014

Sahara may mortgage overseas properties

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 05, 2014
First Published: 23:21 IST(5/8/2014) | Last Updated: 23:23 IST(5/8/2014)

Subrata Roy-led Sahara group, which has kick-started the process of finalising buyers for its properties including some international hotels, could push for mortgaging them rather than an outright sale.

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According to sources close to the development, the group will be keen to keep all financial options open for the deal of these foreign properties.

With the Supreme Court allowing Roy to negotiate the sale of these properties from the conference room in Tihar Jail complex from Monday, Roy is mulling mortgage and refinancing options using these properties as collateral.

Sahara management has 10 days to organise the balance amount for Roy’s release.

Roy, facing contempt proceedings for failing to pay back Rs. 20,000 crore to investors, has been lodged in Tihar since March 4 after he failed to appear at a hearing in a long-running legal battle between the group and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

“The route where Sahara can keep the marquee assets and generate funds through other financial options such as mortgage and refinancing could be preferred by the group,” said an investment banker, who did not wish to be identified.

The group’s international hotels include Grosvenor House, one of London’s iconic hotels acquired in 2010 for £470 million (`4,945 crore) and the Plaza Hotel and Hotel Dream Down Town, in New York, acquired in 2012 for $570 million (Rs 3,468 crore) and $795 million (Rs 4,837 crore) respectively.

The company did not respond to questions sent by HT.

“Now that Mr Roy is back at the helm of the group’s business affairs, Sahara is open to diverse financial options vis-a-vis its international properties and will start discussions with interested parties,” the company’s advocate Gautam Awasthi said on Monday.


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