Yitzhak Tshuva is in advanced negotiations to sell the Plaza Hotel in New York, Indian newspaper Economic Times reported over the weekend.
Sahara Group, one of India's largest companies, is in advanced negotiations with Elad Group, Tshuva's private North American real estate arm. The price is $600 million, of which Tshuva's company is likely to receive $450 million.
This would bring his total profit from his Plaza dealings to $1 billion.
He invested $300 million in renovating the historic New York hotel, which he bought in 2004.
Sahara is currently carrying out due diligence via subsidiary Aamby Valley and has already deposited a 10% advance into a trustee account, the Indian paper reported.
Both Sahara and Elad declined to respond.
The $600 million includes $400 million for 282 hotel rooms. Elad holds 60% of these rooms, while Saudi prince Prince Alwaleed bin Talal holds the remaining 40%. He is expected to sell his share as well. The remaining $200 million is for a mall fully owned by Elad. Thus, Elad is expected to receive $450 million in the deal. Tshuva returned from a trip to India and China a week ago, during which he is thought to have met with Sahara representatives.
Tshuva spent $675 million to buy into the hotel in 2004 from bin Talal, and then invested another $300 million renovating it, turning some of the space into luxury apartments and a mall. In 2006, he sold 40% of the hotel rooms back to bin Talal for $200 million. He also sold off all the luxury apartments for $1.5 billion.
Thus, if the sale goes through, he is likely to book a $1 billion profit on his Plaza dealings.
Many of Tshuva's other business dealings are desperately in need of cash, including his holdings in Israeli natural gas fields Leviathan, Tamar and Dalit, which need a large investment in order to be developed.
Plus, Elad's investment in Plaza Las Vegas project hasn't done well. The company has written off $250 million on the venture so far.
Want to enjoy 'Zen' reading - with no ads and just the article? Subscribe todaySubscribe now