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Sebi's sell-off of Sahara's property to fetch only a fraction of dues

By Abhineet Kumar
May 25, 2016 14:16 IST
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Subrata Roy

The Supreme Court asked the capital market regulator to sell the properties, for which it has the title deeds.

SBI Capital Markets, the investment bank appointed by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, has put an estimated value of about Rs 4,000 crore (Rs 40 billion) for 87 ‘unencumbered’ properties of Sahara Group, that it is mandated to sell.

The Supreme Court asked the capital market regulator to sell the properties, for which it has the title deeds.

Subsequently, Sebi appointed SBI Capital Markets and HDFC Realty to help in the sell-off.

The sale is to generate the bail money for the release of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy, who has been in jail since March 4, 2014.

He was, however, granted parole for four weeks on May 6 to attend rituals following the death of his mother.

The parole has been extended till July 11 to enable him to deposit Rs 200 crore with Sebi.

For the interim bail of 67-year-old Roy, the court had put conditions like depositing Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) in cash and a bank guarantee of equal amount and tough terms including payment of the entire Rs 36,000 crore (Rs 360 billion), which includes interest.

The money is to be paid back to the investors of Sahara group’s two companies -- Sahara India Real Estate Corporation and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation -- that sold optionally fully convertible debentures.

“It is a massive sell-off,” said a top executive at the India office of a global real estate consultant, who has been briefed about the plan. “It is expected to be completed in three-to-four months.”

The 87 properties include land parcels spread across 30 towns in the country.

The sell-off does not include Sahara’s three overseas hotels, the famous Aamby Valley resort town and the Sahara Star hotel in Mumbai.

“The bank has planned an e-auction for the sale of the land parcels, for which advertisements are expected to come in newspapers this week,” said a banker familiar with the development.

The apex court has also asked Sebi not to sell any property owned by Sahara for a price less than 90 per cent of the circle rates for the area in question without the permission of the court.

THE SAHARA SAGA

  • The sale is to generate the bail money for the release of Sahara Group chief Subrata Roy, who has been in jail since March 4, 2014
  • For interim bail, the court had imposed conditions like depositing Rs 5,000 crore (Rs 50 billion) in cash and a bank guarantee of equal amount and tough terms, including payment of the entire Rs 36,000 crore (Rs 360 billion)
  • Roy was granted parole for four weeks on May 6 to attend rituals following the death of his mother
  • The parole has been extended till July 11 to enable him to deposit Rs 200 crore (Rs 2 billion) with Sebi

Image: Sahara chief Subrata Roy. Photograph: PTI

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Abhineet Kumar in Mumbai
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