Hotel owner, India’s Sahara Group agreed to let to property to the Qatari state-owned Katara Hospitality to the surprise of analysts who were expecting real estate group investor Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. and its partner Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal to buy the posh hotel.
Katara Hospitality, the hotel division of Qatar’s Investment Authority (QIA), also kicked out the Saudi prince and his partner out of shareholders, as it becomes the single owner of the 110-year old hotel building. The Saudi Prince’s Kingdom Holding and Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. owned 25 per cent of the historic property.
The sale was completed on July 2, Bloomberg reports citing a representative for Accor SA, which has been informed of the deal.
Former majority shareholder, Sahara group was desperate to sell the Manhattan-located hotel after its Chairman Subrata Roy run into trouble with Indian authorities that pressed a jail sentence against him and ordered him to return billions of dollars to investors.
Other potential buyers included Khan group of Shahal Khan, founder of Dubai-based family office White City Ventures and United Capital Real Estate Development Corp.
With this new investment, Qatar continues to diversify its investment beyond gas and oil, US media Fortune reports.
The Gulf country already possesses several other luxury properties in the United States. It also owns properties in several other countries including Britain, Germany and France.