The Indian billionaire who tried to mortgage the Plaza Hotel to make bail is now selling London’s Grosvernor House

Subrata Roy

London’s upscale Grosvenor House Hotel is up for sale after the owner, a subsidiary of Indian billionaire Subrata Roy’s Sahara Group, defaulted on debts, The Telegraph’s Andrew Trotman reported.

Roy — who’s been in a New Delhi jail for the past year after ignoring a court order to return more than $US3 billion in illegal bonds to investors — has been trying to mortgage the Grosvenor House, on London’s Park Lane, as well as New York’s Plaza Hotel in order to make bail.

The conglomerate said it still intends to refinance the hotel, despite defaulting on a Bank of China loan, Reuters reported. Deloitte will now administer the Sahara subsidiary that owns the hotel.

Sahara was recently in talks with US investors Mirach Capital to help pay a Bank of China loan, but it turned out that Mirach didn’t actually have the necessary funds and had forged a bank letter suggesting that they did.

Roy needs to raise 100 billion rupees, or $US1.6 billion, to make bail — the largest ever set in India.

Ironically, Sahara Group is actually worth about $US11 billion, according to India’s NDTV — but most of that is in property and real estate (some 36,000 acres in total). So while the company’s value is locked up in illiquid assets, its chairman and founder remains locked up behind bars.

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