The West Bengal government is going to finalise the new owner of Great Eastern Hotel on November 16 when the recommendation of the 4-member inter-departmental committee entrusted with the job of disinvesting the sick PSU will be placed before the cabinet. FE reported on Tuesday that the Bharat Hotels group owned by Delhi-based Lalit Suri had quoted highest price--Rs 52 crore. PricewaterhouseCoopers, the consultancy firm engaged by the state government for divesting the sick PSU, had fixed the reserve price at Rs 30 crore. Unitech Group owned by Singapore-based industrialist Prasun Mukherjee offered Rs 40 crore and Ramuk AB from Sweden, the third bidder, offered only Rs 9 crore for the property.
The government will still have a 10% share in the hotel and will have its representative in the new Board of Directors. Another clause in the agreement will be the new owner will have to keep the name Great Eastern in the name of the hotel. It will not be allowed to change the facade of the hotel too, as it is a heritage building.
The development will cap a process that the state government started in October last year.