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Asia’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, acquired a majority stake in the Mandarin Oriental in New York City for just over $ 98 million..
Ambani’s conglomerate, called Reliance Industries, announced on Saturday the acquisition of the hotel’s parent company, which is a Cayman Islands-based company controlled by Investment Corporation of Dubai. That company indirectly owns a 73.4% stake in the property.
The deal is expected to close at the end of March. Reliance said it would plan to acquire the remaining stake based on the same valuation if the other hotel owners decide to sell their shares as well.
The Dubai Investment Corporation took over the building in 2015. And last March, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group still owned a 25% stake.
The $ 98.2 million price tag represents a steep discount, as a 2007 Mandarin Oriental shareholders report revealed that the property was valued at $ 340 million.
Like most hotels, Mandarin Oriental was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The New York hotel made just $ 15 million for all of 2020, while in 2018 and 2019 it had revenues of $ 115 million and $ 113 million, respectively.
The iconic hotel, located near Central Park and overlooking Columbus Circle, is a notable acquisition for Reliance. The conglomerate is best known for its energy, retail and technology businesses.
However, it is now increasing its investments in the hospitality and service industry as it already has a small but growing list of luxury properties in India, the UK and elsewhere.
Reliance currently has stakes in Oberoi Hotels, several five-star resorts in India and six other countries, as well as Stoke Park, a famous English country club.
Ambani’s personal wealth has soared in recent months to $ 9.9 billion., making him the richest man in India and the 11th richest person in the world, according to CNN.
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