New York City's Plaza Hotel will exchange ownership once again. According to a report from Reuters, Qatar has entered a deal to acquire the hotel for approximately $600 million through the state-owned Katara Holding. The state-owned Katara is buying full ownership of the hotel, including a 75 percent stake from Indian business group Sahara India Pariwar.
Over the past decade, Qatar has purchased numerous hotels and luxury properties in the West as part of its $300 billion-plus sovereign wealth fund aimed at diversifying the wealth it accumulates from gas and oil exports. Qatar, the world’s largest exporter of liquefied natural gas, already owns landmark hotels such as The Savoy and The Connaught in London.
Luxury Travel Advisor's sister site, Hotel Management, says that the acquisition comes just a few days after United Capital Real Estate Development filed a lawsuit against the previous owner, Subrata Roy, chairman of Sahara India Pariwar and Sahara's U.S. division, claiming they breached a contract by seeking other buyers for the Plaza Hotel.
In addition, United has alleged in a complaint filed in New York state court that Roy and Sahara U.S. fraudulently encouraged United to sign deals, show proof of funds and place money in escrow. The complaint also claims United agreed to acquire Sahara's 85-percent stake in the Dream Downtown hotel in New York.
The Plaza Hotel has changed hands numerous times in the past, including to current President Donald Trump. Trump sold the hotel more than 20 years ago as he filed for bankruptcy. Israel-based Elad Group converted a major portion of the Plaza into condominiums during its ownership. AccorHotels' Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand currently manages the property.