NEW YORK CITY, New Your: Mukesh Ambani, India's wealthiest person, has gained a controlling stake in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York City for $98.2 million.
Ambani's conglomerate, Reliance Industries, announced the acquisition of the hotel's parent company, a Cayman Islands-based firm controlled by the Investment Corporation of Dubai, which indirectly holds a 73.4 percent stake. The agreement is expected to close by the end of March.
The Investment Corporation of Dubai took over the Mandarin Oriental in 2015.
Reliance said if the hotel's other owners wish to sell their shares, it would try to acquire the remaining stake based upon the same valuation.
According to its most recent annual report as of last March, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group still owned a 25 percent stake in the hotel.
A 2007 Mandarin Oriental shareholder report disclosed that the property was valued at some $340 million, so the $98.2 million price tag represents a significant discount.
The COVID-19 pandemic harmed the Mandarin Oriental, as with most other hotels.
The iconic hotel, which sits near Central Park and overlooks Columbus Circle, is a marquee acquisition for Reliance, which is better known for its businesses in energy, retail and tech, along with its small but growing list of luxury properties in India, the UK and elsewhere.
Reliance currently has holdings in Stoke Park, a famous English country club, as well as in the Oberoi Hotels, a collection of five-star resorts across India and six other countries.
During the pandemic, Ambani has made many deals and spent tens of billions of dollars to achieve his goal of turning Reliance into a major global tech giant.
According to the Bloomberg Billionaires index, Ambani's personal wealth rose in recent months to $92.9 billion, making him India's richest man and the world's eleventh wealthiest person.