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Qatar Buys Iconic Plaza Hotel for $600M

Qatar Buys Iconic Plaza Hotel for $600M
The Plaza Hotel in New York is closed amid the coronavirus.

Qatar-owned Katara Holding is buying the Plaza Hotel for $600M, bringing to a close an ongoing saga surrounding the future ownership of the storied property.

The sale includes a 75% stake in Sahara India Pariwar, Reuters reports, and comes as three other would-be buyers jostled to strike a deal with its affiliate, Sahara U.S. Corp., the current majority owner.

Last month, Sahara had reportedly reached an agreement to sell the hotel to investors Shahal Khan and the Hakim Organization for $600M, after shopping the property for the past three years.

Minority owners Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp. and Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal's Kingdom Holding Co. sued to try and block the sale, arguing they had first right of refusal. They then matched the $600M offer, but abruptly pulled out of the offer to buy and opted to sell their 25% instead. Another possible buyer, United Capital Real Estate Development Corp., emerged as a third buyer late last month.

But, according to The Real Deal, Hassim Bin Jabber Al-Thani, a former Qatari prime minister, owned $400M in debt on the property that was coming due. This is the first property Katara has bought in New York City. It already owns the Savoy Hotel and the Connaught Hotel in London.