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New York’s Iconic Plaza Hotel Sale Completed

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
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Sahara India Pariwar, an India-based conglomerate, today completed the purchase of a 75 percent interest in the iconic Plaza Hotel New York from real estate company El Ad US Holdings’ position in the hotel with a total valuation of $575 million. The acquisition includes 230 hotel rooms and retail space. Co-owner Kingdom Holding Co., controlled by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, will retain its 25 percent stake in the property. Solid Rock Advisors, a real estate consulting firm specializing in luxury resort and hotel transactions, advised the seller in the transaction. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will continue to operate the hotel under a long-term agreement.

The iconic Plaza Hotel is located in Manhattan, adjacent to Central Park. Notable guests of the Plaza over the years have included Eleanor Roosevelt, the Beatles, Mark Twain and Groucho Marx. Donald Trump is a former owner of the hotel.

“This was a great opportunity for the buyer to expand into a key U.S. gateway market with the purchase of such an irreplaceable asset as the Plaza Hotel,” said Solid Rock’s President Greg Rice. “The corner of 59th Street and Fifth Avenue is arguably one of the world’s most valuable pieces of real estate.

“The New York City hotel real estate market remains one of the world’s most attractive investments. There currently are more buyers than sellers in the market. It is the world’s most liquid market and is excellent for capital preservation as it consistently outperforms inflation. There also is upside in the hotel market as it has not yet reached pre-recession levels. Capital is more widely available for buyers now, and sellers are making strategic decisions to bring their assets to market in this favorable environment,” Rice added. “While luxury hotels in New York City in particular have been one of the harder hit segments of the hospitality industry recently, they will benefit from strong growth as room rates return to their peak levels.”

About Kingdom Holding Company
Kingdom Holding Company, led by HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, is one of the world’s premier international investment companies with holdings in some of the world’s best known companies and brands, including Four Seasons Hotels, Apple, Time Warner, Samba, Citigroup, Pepsi, Walt Disney and Fairmont Hotels. Based in Saudi Arabia, The company’s vision is to ‘invest in the best’ through a strategy of investing long-term in high performance companies with leading brands,

About El Ad US Holdings
El Ad US Holdings is one of the nation’s leading real estate companies, responsible for the acquisition, development and conversion of architecturally significant residential and commercial properties in key markets throughout North America. El Ad’s portfolio contains a number of significant projects, including the O’Neill Building, The Link condominium tower, 21 Astor Place, 224 West 18th and 49 East 21st in New York City, as well as the new Carlyle Residences in Los Angeles and the Edgewater Hotel in Miami.

About Sahara India Pariwar
Sahara India Pariwar is a major business conglomerate in India with operations in multiple sectors, including financial services, life insurance, mutual funds, housing finance, infrastructure & housing, print and television news media, entertainment channels, cinema production, consumer merchandise retail, healthcare, hospitality, manufacturing, sports, and information technology. The group is run by Subrata Roy who owns a five-star Mumbai hotel, a top-rated cricket team and TV channels in India, and who acquired London's Grosvenor's House in 2010 for $726 million. Time magazine referred to Sahara, in 2004, as “the second largest employer in India” after the Indian Railways.

About Solid Rock Advisors LLC.
Solid Rock Advisors, led by Greg Rice, is a real estate consulting firm specializing in high-end and luxury resorts and hotel transactions. SRA’s extensive experience in asset management, consulting, brokerage and arrangement of financing has involved more than 150 properties and $6 billion of market value over the past 15 years. Solid Rock Advisors has offices in New York, Colorado, California and Hawaii. See www.solidrockadvisors.com for additional information.

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