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QIA drops bid for 3 Sahara hotels in London, NYC

The Qatar Investment Authority is bowing out of a race toacquire the SaharaGroup-owned Grosvenor House Hotel in London and two New York City hotels,London's Financial Times reported.

The sole remaining active bid for the properties is anoffer by a consortiumof U.K. and Middle Eastern entities, the report said.

British billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben own theabout US$750 million of debt against the three properties, on which India'sSahara Group has been in default since 2015. The publication said the brothersare interested in acquiring the properties, although no formal bid has beenmade.

Reasons for the Qatari sovereign wealth fund's withdrawalincluded the debt factor, the report said, citing two people familiar with thematter.

The New York hotels are the Plaza Hotel and the DreamDowntown Hotel, in which Sahara owns majority stakes.

The assets are being sold to raise US$1.6 billion in bailmoney for Sahara Group's jailed owner and founder, Subrata Roy.