New Delhi | In a curious turn to crisis-ridden Sahara Group’s efforts to raise funds to secure bail for its chief Subrata Roy, Bank of America has refuted claims of being a banker to the USD 2-billion funding offered by little known US-based entity Mirach Capital.
We are in no way connected with this transaction, a spokesperson for Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.
The bank’s assertion follows a much-hyped deal proposed by the group last month with Mirach Capital, headed by Indian- origin Saransh Sharma, to raise funds for Roy’s release from Tihar Jail where he has been lodged for almost a year now.
As per submissions made before the Supreme Court, Mirach was to conduct this transaction through funds deposited in an account with Bank of America, which was proposed to transfer funds to the accounts of two Sahara entities.
When contacted, Sharma refused any direct comment on Bank of America’s denial of being the banker, but asserted that the bank for this transaction has been determined.
Sharma, CEO of Mirach Capital, also said he was committed to complete the transaction, even as he hinted at attempts by his rivals to sabotage the deal.
As per a Supreme Court order, dated January 9, Sahara lawyers placed before the bench a communication dated January 5, 2015 addressed by Bank of America to Sahara India Pariwar, inter alia stating that under directions from Mirach Capital Group LLC, an amount of USD 1,050 million remains blocked and, earmarked till February 20, 2015 for the transactions being processed between Mirach and Sahara.
Queries sent to Saharas remained unanswered on this issue, but this entire funding arrangement has come under cloud with Bank of America denying any role in this deal.
Sources said that BofA came to know through media reports that its name was being mentioned in the court documents as a banker for the deal, following which it did the due diligence that indicated possible misuse of its name.
There were also speculations that some entities interested in full buyout of three iconic hotel properties owned by Saharas — two in New York (The Plaza and Dream Downtown) and one in London (Grosvenor House) — may be trying to scuttle the Mirach deal which mostly involves transfer of existing loans from Bank of China on these properties to a syndicate of investors.
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