Indian billionaire buys London's Grosvenor House in a game of real-life Monopoly

Indian billionaire buys London's Grosvenor House in a game of real-life Monopoly

Subrato Roy, the head of Sahara India Pariwar, is expected to be handed the keys to the £500 million hotel by Christmas

All that's left is due diligence, scrutiny of the title of the property, verification of the physical area and other follow through as Lucknow-based Sahara India Pariwar lines up its bid for London's Grosvenor House hotel.

Every major national newspaper carried a story this week tipping Indian billionaire, Sahara's "Managing Worker" and chairman Subrata Roy to win this piece of hotel history from the Royal Bank of Scotland, worth £500 million (Rs 3,566 crore). 

The Grosvenor acquisition will mark a high point in Roy's real-life game of Monopoly if he lands, as everyone expects him to, the prestigious Park Lane property in Mayfair overlooking Hyde Park. Built in 1929, it is located near museums, grand department stores and West End theaters.

Grosvenor House hotel was also the official venue for the gala celebrations of India's 50th anniversary of independence in 1997 and is said to be patronized by many Indians living in the United Kingdom.

Although newspapers are awaiting official endorsement from either company, the delivery date is said to be Christmas.

"One more iconic British brand will soon be taken over by an Indian firm," is Hindustan Times' opening line on the subject of Subrata Roy's Christmas gift to himself and "the world's largest family" -- the company tag line for the Sahara conglomerate which developed Amby Valley, an entire city outside Mumbai and owns the Sahara Star airport hotel here too.

Besides property Sahara is massive in the Hindi media and entertainment industry. Not just on television, but also producing Bollywood films. And, oh yes, Roy recently put a finger in the Indian Premier League pie, adding the Sahara Pune Warriors cricket team to India's most lucrative sports event.