Vaccine tycoon bids on London hotel

Indian billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, whose Serum Institute of India sells vaccines worldwide, has put in a US$937 million bid for London’s Grosvenor House, A JW Marriott Hotel, according to published reports.

Poonawalla is among three bidders for the 494-room property, which is owned by Sahara India Group. An investment arm of the royal family of Qatar and the Sultan of Brunei have also bid on the hotel.

Sahara is aiming to sell Grosvenor House in addition to The Plaza in New York and Dream New York in an effort to fund bail for its leader, Subrata Roy, who has been incarcerated since March for dues owed to the Securities & Exchange Board of India.

Poonawalla already owns a 50% stake in an upcoming Ritz-Carlton in Pune, India, which is a project of Atul Chordia of Panchshil Realty. Poonawalla has partnered with Chordia on the bid for Grosvenor House as well, according to Forbes.