India's Sahara Group is set to purchase a controlling stake in the Plaza Hotel for $570 million.
The 105-year-old luxury hotel overlooking Central Park in New York is currently jointly owned by Israeli tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Tshuva will receive $400 million for its 60 percent stake while Talal will receive a smaller amount and retain a 25 percent stake.
The agreement only includes the hotel and commercial spaces; Tschuva will retain ownership of the luxury apartments, known as the Plaza Pied-a-terre condominium, which occupy a different part of the same building. The iconic hotel was bought by Tshuva in 2004 for $675 million. According to media reports, the sale of the apartments alone netted Tshuva $500 million in profit.
The Indian group, owner of assets ranging from TV channels to real estate, recently acquired the iconic Grosvenor House in London's Mayfair district for $726 million from the Royal Bank of Scotland. The deal, carried out in 2010, was the first overseas hotel acquisition by the group.
According to a report by Business Standard, the group is looking into acquiring all of Marriott's hotels in the UK and is also eyeing up properties in France.
The iconic 20-story Plaza hotel provides 282 guest rooms, including 102 luxury suites as well as a champagne bar and a number of restaurants. The hotel will continue to be operated by Fairmont Hotel & Resorts Inc, which has of managed the property since 1999.