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Alwaleed to Keep Stake in Plaza Hotel After Offer Made

Kingdom Holding Co. (KINGDOM), controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, plans to retain its stake in the Plaza Hotel after Sahara India Pariwar reportedly made an offer to buy the New York icon.

“Kingdom isn’t planning on selling at this point in time,” Charles Henry, a spokesman for the company, said today in a telephone interview. “The prince’s objective is to be a long-term investor in this kind of iconic asset.”

Sahara India Pariwar, which bought London’s Grosvenor House luxury hotel in 2010, made a $600 million offer to Israel’s Elad Group for the Plaza Hotel, India’s Economic Times reported April 6. Kingdom in 2004 sold its stake in the hotel to Elad and bought back a portion soon after, Henry said.

Kingdom today holds 50 percent of the Plaza’s 130 hotel rooms and public areas, and 25 percent of the 100 rooms that were sold as condominiums and rented out as hotel rooms, Henry said. Kingdom also owns a stake in Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (FHR), the Plaza’s operator. The hotel, a century-old destination for socialites and celebrities, reopened in March 2008 after a two- year restoration that cost more than $400 million.

Lloyd Kaplan, a spokesman for El-Ad Properties, a unit of Elad Group and developer of condominiums at the Plaza, didn’t immediately return a telephone message left after office hours. Representatives for Sahara India Pariwar didn’t immediately answer an e-mail seeking comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nadja Brandt in Los Angeles at nbrandt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Taub at dtaub@bloomberg.net

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