Sahara Group Boss Subrata Roy Begins Deal Talks From Delhi Jail
A file photograph of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy.Reuters

Jailed Indian businessman Subrata Roy has met potential buyers eyeing his assets, including hotels in London and New York and land parcels in India, in a conference room within Delhi's Tihar prison, reports said.

A deal will help Roy, who heads troubled financial services group Sahara India Pariwar, raise funds to post a $1.7bn (£1bn, €1.3bn) bail in Delhi.

Roy, who has put London's Grosvenor House Hotel on sale in a bid to raise the $1.7bn needed to pay India's market regulator Sebi to get out of jail, has until 19 August to negotiate deals.

Roy's steno, secretarial assistants and Sahara directors Ashok Roy Choudhary and Ravi Shankar Dubey were allowed to use the conference room.

India's top court, on 1 August, said Roy could be moved to the jail's conference room for 10 working days for deal talks.

American real estate investor Madison Capital has tabled an $800m bid for Roy's US hotels – the Plaza Hotel and Dreams Downtown Hotel.

The Sultan of Brunei, an investment arm of the Qatari royal family and Indian pharma billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla have all offered to buy the British property, which is located in the Mayfair area and managed by J W Marriott.

Roy has been in jail since 4 March after two group companies - Sahara Housing and Sahara Real Estate - failed to comply with the Supreme Court's order to refund $3.9bn to 30 million investors.

Roy acquired the New York hotels for close to $800m in 2012 and had purchased the Grosvenor for $725m in 2010. The acquisitions were financed through borrowings from the Bank of China.