Sahara vows to defend lawsuit on US hotels sale
Facing a lawsuit in the US over sale of its overseas hotels, crisis-ridden Sahara on Thursday said it was a “private dispute” between two parties unrelated to it and the group will “vigorously” defend its position.
Sahara, along with two others, has been dragged into a $350 million lawsuit filed by a Hong Kong-based investor in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, seeking attachment of Indian group’s two prized hotel assets - Plaza and Dream Downtown in New York.
The lawsuit has been filed by JTS Trading Ltd, which had proposed to partner UAE-based Trinity White City Ventures and arrange loans from Swiss banking giant UBS to acquire Sahara’s three overseas hotels - Grosvenor House in London and the two in the US.
Reacting to the development, Sahara group today said in a statement that “the lawsuit is brought against Trinity White City Ventures Ltd, which was apparently a potential joint venture partner of JTS Trading in a potential bid by Trinity to refinance our two hotels in New York and one in London.”
“Sahara was at one time in discussions with Trinity but had no knowledge of the dealings between Trinity and JTS,” the statement said.
“This is a private dispute between two parties who have had a falling out,” Sandeep Wadhwa, Head of Corporate Finance at Sahara Group, said in the statement.
“JTS’ attempt to drag Sahara into this dispute is based on false allegations and we are confident that JTS’s claim will not survive the preliminary stages of the proceedings. “Sahara intends to defend the lawsuit vigorously,” he added.
In the lawsuit filed against Trinity, Sahara and UBS, JTS has alleged that Trinity cut it off from the deal for direct negotiations with Sahara. JTS has also accused Sahara and UBS of having “aided and abetted” the UAE firm in breaching its “fiduciary duties” under their agreement.