Grosvenor House at centre of three-way bidding battle

25 July 2014 by
Grosvenor House at centre of three-way bidding battle

Three bids are believed to be in place for the acquisition of London's Grosvenor House on Park Lane.

The Indian Poonawalla family, which owns the Serum Institute, one of the world's largest vaccine makers, has told the Financial Times that it has made an offer of £550m for the five-star, 494-bedroom hotel. The royal family of Qatar and the Sultan of Brunei are also believed to be involved in negotiations for the property.

Grosvenor House, which operates under the JW Marriott brand, has attracted the bids as the result of the detention in jail since March of its current owner, Subrata Roy, head of the Sahara India Pariwar conglomerate of companies.

Roy was denied bail when he was arrested in connection with a failure by the Sahara group to refund £1.9b to 30 million Indian investors after allegedly illegally raising the money through a retail bond scheme.

He has now been granted temporary day release to allow him conduct negotiations for the sale of Grosvenor House and two New York hotels: the Plaza and Dreams Downtown.

Adar Poonawalla said his family aimed to purchase Grosvenor House if Roy failed in a bid to sell all three of his properties to a single buyer.

"We know he [Mr Roy] would prefer to sell all of them together, probably to the Qataris… and all three of them are a bit rich for my budget," he explained, adding that he believed there was scope to improve revenues at the hotel. "I come to the UK quite often, I studied there… we know how to make it work," he added.

"This is a unique opportunity, a marquee asset on Park Lane, and something like that just doesn't come up very often."

Grosvenor House was bought by Sahara India Pariwar in 2010 for £470m.

Proposal to sell Grosvenor House to get owner out of jail >>
Grosvenor House sold for £470m >>

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