Taxpayer money controlled Royal Bank of Scotland sold one of London’s most famous hotels it owned for a throwaway price.
One of Park Lane’s most famous addresses – the five-star Grosvenor house, was purchased by Indian billionaire Subrata Roy controlled conglomerate the Sahara India Pariwar for £470 million.
RBS is desperately raising cash as well as reducing its exposure in the real estate segment. The bank had reserved the price range at £450 – £550 million and the deal was finalised towards the lower limit of the price band.
The bank has sold six hotels this year, including four Hiltons and the Marble Arch in Central London for £215 million.
Le Meridien had sold a string of hotels to RBS in 2001 including the Grosvenor house. RBS had nearly collapsed during the financial crisis. The up-market brand JW Marriott now operates the Grosvenor House and hosts some of UK’s most glamorous and biggest award ceremonies.
Under the new ownership, the hotel will add a spa and swimming pool, a night club and an Indian restaurant.
The current Park Lane structure was rebuilt in 1920 after the original structure – built in the 18th Century, was demolished.