Supreme Court could allow Sahara boss to conduct asset sale talks, company says

NEW DELHI Tue Jul 22, 2014 10:13pm IST

The Sahara group chairman Subrata Roy (C) arrives at the Supreme Court in New Delhi March 4, 2014. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

The Sahara group chairman Subrata Roy (C) arrives at the Supreme Court in New Delhi March 4, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee/Files

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - The jailed chairman of conglomerate Sahara, Subrata Roy, could be allowed to take part in talks over group asset sales to repay investors sold bonds that were later ruled to be illegal, the company said after he was again denied bail on Tuesday.

Subrata Roy has been in a Delhi jail since March 4 after failing to appear at a contempt hearing in his group's legal battle with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) over the company's failure to repay investors who bought the outlawed bonds.

Sahara, the assets of which include the landmark Plaza hotel in New York and Grosvenor House in London, has offered to sell its three overseas hotels to meet the payment demands and is also planning to sell some real estate assets within India.

The company said in a statement that the Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted a freeze on its overseas properties and allowed the group to hold talks for selling or mortgaging these properties.

Though the country's top court again denied Roy bail, Sahara said that, in the event of the submission of a concrete proposal of such mortgage or sale deal, the court said it "will consider the case and pass an order so that he (Roy) can meet with the buyer on certain conditions".

(Reporting by Suchitra Mohanty and Devidutta Tripathy; Editing by David Goodman)

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