Real estate major Parsvnath Developers may soon be able to reduce a significant chunk of its debt, thanks to certain corporate giants showing interest in buying a prime piece of property it owns in the national capital.
Parsvnath Developers The Sahara Group is engaged in discussions with Parsvnath to buy its commercial land near Connaught Place in New Delhi, according to sources. ICICI Bank is also among the contenders for the piece of land, it is learnt.
The 1.18-acre plot at Kasturba Gandhi Marg was bought by Parsvnath in 2008 for about Rs 200 crore (Rs 2 billion), with the aim of constructing a retail-cum-office complex. But the realtor is now looking to sell it to cut mounting debt, currently at Rs 1,300 crore (Rs 13 billion).
Although the Parsvnath management is looking for a price of Rs 700 crore (Rs 7 billion), the interested parties are ready to sign a deal at Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion), sources said. Property consultant Jones Lang LaSalle is advising Parsvnath on the deal.
Pradeep Jain, chairman, Parsvnath Developers, did not respond to repeated calls and e-mails. Mails to Sahara spokespersons did not elicit any response.
An ICICI Bank spokesperson said, "ICICI Bank has no plans to acquire this property."
According to sources, ICICI is exploring the possibility of constructing a corporate house in the locality in partnership with Parsvnath, without acquiring the land.
Earlier, as part of its fundraising exercise, the company
In January 2011, Parsvnath signed an agreement with SUN-Apollo India Real Estate Fund LLC for an investment of Rs 100 crore (Rs 1 billion) in its premium residential project at Ghaziabad -- Parsvnath Exotica. SUN-Apollo had acquired 49.9 per cent stake in the project SPV.
Then, the company sold a minority stake in Delhi-based residential project Parsvnath La Tropicana to JP Morgan for about Rs 150 crore (Rs 1.5 billion). Through the deal, the previous investor, Red Fort Capital, made an exit. The company had plans to construct an office complex at Connaught Place along with the PE firm.
According to realty experts, demand for land at prime localities has risen as corporate houses look to move their headquarters to such locations.
Anuj Nangpal, director-investment advisory, DTZ India, a real estate consultancy, said, "Organisations are increasingly signaling their arrival or resurgence by moving their presence into the centre of metros. The branding benefit of such ownership of prime real estate far outweighs the costs. Further, employees are also increasingly assessing their jobs and future basis of their office infrastructure and the pride in occupying prime real estate clearly impacts long-term retention."
Earlier, Business Standard had reported on the discussions being held by textiles major Alok Industries with various large corporate groups to sell its property at Peninsula Business Park in central Mumbai. Alok was looking at a deal in the range of Rs 900-1,000 crore (Rs 9-10 billion).