The majority owner of the Plaza Hotel is looking to sell the landmark property, and hospitality experts said it could fetch about $560 million.
Sahara Group, the India-based conglomerate that owns the majority share in the famed hotel, hired a JLL team to find a buyer, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Hospitality experts said they could see the property selling for $2 million a room – a figure that’s only been exceeded by the Baccarat Hotel when it sold for $230 million in 2015 and when The Plaza itself traded in 2012.
That would put The Plaza in the price range of $560 million or more.
“I’d Assume There Would Be Competitive Bidding That Could Drive the price higher,” said Sean Hennessey, CEO of the hotel consulting firm Lodging Advisors, who isn’t involved in the property.
El Ad Group bought The Plaza in 2004 for $675 million and combined many of its 800 rooms into luxury condos. The building now has 282 guest rooms and 152 privately owned residences.
Sahara bought a controlling stake in the hotel in 2012 in a deal that valued the property at $575 million. Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal owns a piece of the hotel through a minority interest. In May, the New York Post reported that Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation teamed up with the prince to buy out Sahara Group head Subrata Roy, who had spent two years in prison in India over allegations he scammed billions of dollars from investors.
A sovereign wealth fund from Qatar, a Shanghai municipal investment fund and Pras Michel, co-founder of the hip-hop group the Fugees, are among the potential buyers who have expressed interest in the property, according to the Journal. [WSJ] – Rich Bockmann