Subrata Roy, chairman of Sahara Group (Photographer: Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg)

Sahara Says Pact Signed For $1.6-Billion Loan On Aamby Valley

The embattled Sahara Group on Monday said a Dubai investment fund has agreed to provide a loan of $1.6 billion (over Rs 10,000 crore) against security of 26 percent shares of its Aamby Valley project.

“Royale Partners Investment Fund Ltd. of Dubai, headed by HE Sultan Al Ahbabi has entered into an agreement with Sahara to provide loan of $1.6 billion against the security of 26 percent of the shares of Aamby Valley Ltd," a Sahara group lawyer said in a statement.

“They (the fund) have committed through a mutual agreement and the agreement was submitted in the last hearing of the court on August 10, 2017. The same was raised in today's hearing as well,” advocate Gautam Awasthy said in the statement.

The statement came on a day when the Supreme Court directed the official liquidator to go ahead with the scheduled auction of Aamby Valley property in Maharashtra, as it rejected Sahara Group Chief Subrata Roy’s plea for some more time.

The liquidator has fixed the reserve price for the luxury resort town project at about Rs 37,000 crore, though the group pegs its market valuation at over Rs 1 lakh crore.

The directions came after Roy said he had deposited Rs 533.20 crore in the SEBI-Sahara account and wanted to pay the remaining Rs 966.80 crore through cheques dated November 11.

The top court said that barring “hyperbolic arguments and rhetoric statements” by the Sahara chief, the amount in its entirety has not yet been paid.

The court had on July 25 asked the embattled Sahara chief to deposit Rs 1,500 crore in the SEBI-Sahara account by September 7 and said it may only then deliberate upon his plea seeking 18 months more for making the full repayment of the outstanding amount to be refunded to the investors.

Sahara group said Aamby Valley Ltd has entered into a pact for Royale Partners Investment Fund, registered in Mauritius as a global business company and owned by Dubai- headquartered RPMG Investment, to invest money in return for a strategic stake of 26 percent.

The pact has been signed with Viktor Koenig U.K. Ltd., with Royale Partners Investment Fund Ltd. as its nominee.

Sahara has been engaged in a long-running battle with the capital market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India).