The plush Grosvenor House Hotel in London has long been a favourite haunt of the British Asian community – from Award ceremonies to tea parties, event organizers have felt an affinity to the property owned by controversial Indian billionaire Subrata Roy.
Now however, the historic Park Lane property is set to revert back to British ownership after a US-based investment company finalized a deal that would allow Roy’s company Sahara Group to bail him out of Delhi’s Tihar jail where Roy has been holed up awaiting trial for failing to return more than £2 billion to investors in a property development scheme.
The Florida-based investment company – Mirach Capital – is said to include the Fugees rapper Pras Michel and has agreed to pay £1.3 billion for the Grosvenor as well as Roy’s other signature properties, the Plaza and Dream hotels in New York.
Roy has been held in a New Delhi jail for more than 10 months over Sahara’s failure to comply with a court order to refund thousands of investors who had bought a type of investment bond, which had been outlawed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
The Supreme Court, which last year asked Sahara to pay $1.6 billion to release Roy on bail, this month authorised the group to raise funds by re-mortgaging its overseas hotels.
Roy paid £470 million for the Grosvenor in 2010 and a further £375 million for the Plaza, which overlooks New York’s Central Park.
Mirach Capital reportedly includes among its investors a major British hotel group which will take over management of the Grosvenor.