|By Sheila Anne Feeney, amNewYork, New
YorkMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 01, 2012--The iconic, eternally-in-tumult Plaza Hotel has some new ownership blood -- again.
Sahara Indian Pariwar of Lucknow, a massive Indian conglomerate, has purchased a controlling stake in the landmark property for $570 million from Elad Properties and Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holdings, The New York Times reported Wednesday. The hotel, which is was turned into a complex of 152 private condo units and 282 hotel rooms following a controversial 2005 renovation, has passed through the hands of Conrad Hilton, Sonesta International Hotels Corporation and Donald Trump, among other owners.
The Sahara Group may be about to acquire an 85% stake in the Dream Downtown Hotel from hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, and is also interested in acquiring other high end NYC properties.
"There seems to be a sudden realization by Indian entrepreneurs that they can run hotels better than some of their counterparts abroad," Praveen Chakravarty, the CEO of institutional businesses at AnandRathi Financial Services, told The Times.
In December 2010, Sahara -- which has a breathtaking array of entertainment, media, merchandise, manufacturing, IT, financial and construction interests -- bought the Grosvenor House Hotel in London from the Royal Bank of Scotland for $726 million.
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