The Real Deal New York

Reuben brothers pay $800M for debt on Plaza, Dream hotels

Bank of China deal buys Sahara Group four months on default
June 09, 2015 04:05PM

Two billionaire brothers from Monaco are involved in a saga over who controls the iconic Plaza Hotel in Midtown and two other marquee hotels after paying more than $800 million for the debt on the properties.

David and Simon Reuben completed the deal with the Bank of China – the lender to Indian conglomerate Sahara Group, which owns the Plaza, the Dream Downtown in Chelsea and the Grosvenor House in London.

While Sahara’s debt is in technical default, the Reubens gave the conglomerate a four-month extension, according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal “restores Sahara’s ability to renegotiate the loan terms with a new lender, or with third parties,” Sahara said in a statement.

The Bank of China seized control of the Grosvenor House earlier this year and appointed an administrator to market the property. The Reubens’ acquisition of the debt halts the sales process for the London hotel, though commercial brokerage JLL will continue marketing the Dream Hotel for Sahara.

Sahara has attempted to sell the hotels to raise funds to release founder Subrata Roy from jail in New Delhi. Roy is being held on $1.6 billion bail after the Indian government alleged unpaid debts of around $6 billion to company bondholders. [WSJ]Rey Mashayekhi