Frequented by royalty, celebrities and business leaders since its opening in 1929, the historic Grosvenor House, once home to the Duke of Westminster, is set to be acquired by Sahara India Pariwar, the conglomerate run by Indian billionaire Subrata Roy.
After having failed to buy debt-ridden Hollywood studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc (MGM) in September 2010, Sahara has set its eyes on acquiring the iconic London hotel from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBC) for, what some say, a throwaway price of £470 million (RsRs3,000 crore).
The Sunday Times yesterday reported, without saying how it obtained the information that RBC has agreed to sell Grosvenor House to Sahara after the Edinburgh-based bank failed to find a buyer willing to pay around £700 million in two previous auctions.
Multi-business Indian conglomerate Sahara, whose businesses range from airlines, luxury resorts to media finance, has been in exclusive talks with RBC since mid-October and is said to have already put down a deposit for Grosvenor House, being run by the JW Marriott chain of hotels.
Sahara owns the Sahara Star Hotel in Mumbai, which has 210 guest rooms and 13 suites. Grosvenor House situated on Park Lane in Central London has 420 rooms and 74 suites.
The paper said that the deal is expected to close around Christmas.