Indian investor buys Grosvenor House for £470mn

Hotel News - 03/01/2011

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In a sales process first initiated back in 2007, the Royal Bank of Scotland has sold the Grosvenor House Hotel to Sahara, an Indian conglomerate, for £470 million. The price is widely considered to be a knock-down bargain deal.

It was just one year ago that prices as high as £700 million were being bandied about for the upmarket property. Despite realising much less than many had hoped for the sale, state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland is likely to be relieved that it has finally found a buyer.

Royal Bank of Scotland is in the midst of selling many non-core assets as it seeks to shrink the size of its operation following its 2008 state bailout. RBS acquired the Grosvenor as part of a £1.25 billion deal in 2001 which gave it 12 Le Meridien hotels under a sale-and-leaseback deal.

Le Meridien collapsed in 2003 and ended up in administration. Since then, the Grosvenor House Hotel, which is on London’s Park Lane, has been run by Marriott.

New owners Sahara say they will manage the Grosvenor jointly with Marriott. Sahara is also planning to add some restaurants, a night club, a business centre and further facilities to the hotel.

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