Who is Subrata Roy?
London’s iconic Grosvenor House Hotel has been put up for sale and could fetch up to £500m.
The hotel’s owners Sahara Grosvenor House Hospitality have gone into administration. The group’s Indian owner Subrata Roy is currently in jail for raising 240bn rupees (£2.3bn) through illegal bonds.
Roy snapped up the hotel from RBS in 2010 for just under £600m. At the time, it was the largest London hotel deal on record.
The hotel boasts 420 rooms, 74 suites, 27 meeting rooms and the largest five-star ballroom in Europe.
Deloitte has been appointed the administrators of the hotel and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) is marketing the property.
Phil Bowers, joint administrator and restructuring services partner at Deloitte, said: “Grosvenor House Hotel is an exceptional asset, at a London address recognised around the globe. We are in the process of agreeing a sale strategy with JLL as sales agent and expect there to be considerable interest in acquiring this building.”
5 things you should know about the bad-boy billionaire owner of Grosvenor House Hotel
1. Roy, 66, is the owner of Lucknow-based Sahara Group, one of India’s biggest private companies which has interests in media, finance, housing, manufacturing and aviation. It has over 1.1 million employees who are known as “parivar” or family. They greet each other with the phrase “Sahara pranam” or Sahara greetings.
2. Roy began his empire going around villages on a Lambretta taking one rupee deposits from poor farmers. He then set up the Sahara Group in the 1970s with 2,000 rupees.
3. His homes in India are replicas of Buckingham Palace and the White House. Every year, he organises mass wedding for 101 couples who can’t afford to pay for their weddings
4. After buying London’s Grsosvenor House Hotel in 2010, he bought New York’s Plaza Hotel for £375m.
5. In 2004, his son’s wedding was attended by over 10,000 celebrities including the then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, and legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.