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Sahara looking to sell Force India stake

NEWS STORY
02/02/2016

Indian conglomerate Sahara is looking to sell its stake in F1 team in effort to free jailed founder, Subrata Roy

Roy was arrested in March 2014 after the company failed to comply with a court order to refund money raised from small investors who had been issued bonds subsequently found to be illegal.

Whilst the Supreme Court ordered the group to repay an estimated $5.3bn to investors in the bond, Sahara has allegedly only been able to raise 95% of its liability, which the court has not accepted.

Now, the group, whose assets include New York's Plaza Hotel, the Grosvenor House hotel in London, the Sahara Star hotel in Mumbai and a stake in a Force India is looking to offload some of them in order to realise the required funds.

Gautam Awasthi, a lawyer for Sahara, said today (Tuesday) that the group has been able to "formalize deals" which would raise an estimated $338m.

Awasthi admitted that permission has been sought from the Supreme Court to sell various assets including the stake in Force India.

Force India, which enjoyed its strongest ever season last year, and had been linked with a deal which might see the cars sporting Aston Martin branding, is long known to have been struggling financially.

Having, along with Sauber, lodged a complaint with the European Union concerning the governance of F1, and how the prize money is divided, the Silverstone-based team had to ask Bernie Ecclestone for a (rumoured $10m) advance on its prize money last October, as cash-flow issues threatened progress on the 2016 car.

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