Sahara seeks SC nod to sell hotels, 42% stake in F1 and 4 aircraft for Subrata Roy's release

Troubled Sahara Group on Tuesday sought the Supreme Court's permission to sell its shares in the Force India Formula 1 team as part of its efforts to raise funds for the release of the group's jailed chief Subrata Roy.

Sahara further said negotiations were also on to sell the group hotel properties overseas, including the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, the New York Plaza and Dream New York hotels.

Sahara's counsel and senior advocate Kapil Sibal said the group was in negotiation to sell its Mumbai hotel – Sahara Star, company's 42 per cent share in Formula 1 and four aircraft.

Sahara currently owns 42.5-per cent of shares in the Formula 1 team while another beleaguered businessman Vijay Mallya owns the same amount of shares in it. The Mol family of the Netherlands holds the remaining 15 per cent in the racing team.

Further, the group said negotiations were underway to sell three overseas hotels, Grosvenor House Hotel in London, the New York Plaza and Dream New York hotels.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A R Dave and A K Sikri, sought a response from the market regulator Sebi within four weeks.

The counsel said the State of Qatar has evinced interest in the Grosvenor House Hotel, which is expected to fetch around Rs2,300 crore.

Further, the group has convinced a Russian Bank to re-finance its two hotels in the United States.

Sahara also sought permission to sell its properties in Bangalore.

Sahara needs to deposit Rs36,000 crore for in the Sebi-Sahara account for refunding the money to its investors before Roy can get bail.

The court has put tough conditions, including Rs5,000 crore in cash and Rs5,000 crore in bank guarantees, for granting interim bail to 67-year-old Roy, who has been in jail since 4 March 2014.

Besides, Sahara needs to pay the entire Rs36,000 crore with interest due to pay back the money to investors.