Tata, Godrej, Adani show interest in buying Sahara properties
A large number of corporates, including Tatas, Godrej, Adani and Patanjali, have shown interest in buying embattled Sahara group's 30 properties estimated to be worth about Rs 7,400 crore.
The properties, mostly land parcels being auctioned by real estate consultant Knight Frank India, have also generated interest from several real estate developers including Omaxe and Eldeco, as also from HNIs and at least one public sector firm Indian Oil, sources familiar with the process said.
Besides, Chennai-based Apollo Hospital has shown interest in acquiring Sahara Hospital in Lucknow.
Sources, however, said that the sale process and the valuation could get impacted due to a hurry in getting the deals closed within a short time because of an urgency on part of Saharas to get the money and deposit the same with the regulator Sebi as per Supreme Court directions.
All prospective buyers are asking for 2-3 months for due diligence, which is considered to be normal period of time in the high-value real estate transactions, sources added.
When contacted, a Sahara group spokesperson declined to disclose the names of prospective buyers, saying "deals are in process and will materialise soon". He also said the details have been submitted to the Supreme Court.
Godrej Properties' Executive Chairman Pirojsha Godrej said, "We are looking at part of one of the Pune land parcels for which Knight Frank is running the bidding process. It is still at a preliminary stage."
Omaxe's CMD Rohtas Goel also confirmed that his company was interested in some properties."As a prudent business organisation, we always keep exploring growth opportunities," he said.
Eldeco's Managing Director Pankaj Bajaj said they are interested in some properties but would not be like to share the exact details at this stage.
An Apollo Hospitals spokesperson said, "The Apollo has submitted an expression of interest for Sahara Hospital and (we) are conducting our evaluation and due diligence process."
Tata Housing declined to comment, while there were no replies to specific queries made to Adani Group and Patanjali.
"The advertisement got an overwhelming response. Over 250 expressions of interest (EOIs) have been received. EOIs have been received for all sites with majority of sites having multiple EOIs," Knight Frank India said in response to queries from PTI.
"Process is an intense process that constitutes due diligence, site inspections, financial bids (pricing to be on as-is-where-is-whatever-it-is basis) and shall culminate on finalisation of successful bidder.
"Due diligence and site inspections are either completed or underway in most cases. We expect to receive the final bids shortly," it added. Sources said there were a large number of individuals as also some educational institutions who have submitted expressions of interest for the properties. The shortlisted entities are now being asked to submit their financial bids.
The group is expecting to get the first instalment from the sale of these properties by June 17 and get all the money, estimated at around Rs 7,400 crore, in three months.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court also directed sale of Sahara group's Aamby Valley township in Lonavala, which the group estimates to be worth over Rs 1 lakh crore and fears that a hurried sale will favour only those wanting to "grab Aamby Valley cheaper".
The Sahara spokesperson said the group had committed to deposit the directed amount of Rs 10,500 crore by July-August 2017, including Rs 7,400 crore from sale of the 30 properties being auctioned and payments from other deals, but the court declined and asked for the Aamby Valley auction which will take much longer.
"We committed around Rs 1,500 crore from overseas hotels, expected to reach India within 45 days. Also we informed about Vasai land where we are going to get around Rs 800 crore (and) also around Rs 800 crore from Ghaziabad," he added.