Unitech group company UCP in talks with Blackstone, GIC to sell SEZ
Aug 21, 2013
Source : The Economic Times

 

DELHI: Unitech Corporate Parks, a Unitech group firm listed in London, is negotiating with the private equity firm Blackstone and Singapore's sovereign wealth fund GIC to sell its IT special economic zone (SEZ) in Gurgaon for about Rs 2,700 crore.

Unitech Corporate Park (UCP), which is listed on the AIM of the London Stock Exchange, is developing an IT SEZ 'IST Infospace Gurgaon' with leasable area of 3.6 million sq ft.

UCP holds 60 per cent in this project, while realty firm Unitech has the remaining 40 per cent stake.

"Our most advanced development G2 (IST Infospace Gurgaon) has been marketed by Jones Lang LaSalle. We have received strong interest and following a first round of offers are now engaged in negotiations with the two leading parties," UCP said in a statement while declaring its annual result.

Sources said that the two leading parties are Blackstone and GIC and the deal could be finalised by end of next month.

A Unitech spokesperson declined to comment on the development.

Apart from these two firms, investment firm Xander group, Canada's pension fund CPPIB, Kotak Group and Maple Tree had also participated in the bidding process.

UCP raised about 360 million pounds by issuing and placing its Ordinary Shares on the AIM of the London Stock Exchange in December, 2006. It had invested in six commercial projects in India in partnership with Unitech, of which five are in the national capital region and one in Kolkata.

UCP has 60 per cent stake in these 6 properties while Unitech has 40 per cent. That apart, Unitech holds 12-13 per cent stake in UCP directly.

Unitech is expected to garner Rs 1,100-1,200 crore from this deal and the amount will be used to retire debt and fund construction of projects.

"Our most advanced project G2 is approaching physical completion and has been marketed to major international investors, and we are in detailed negotiation with two. We hope this will be the first and substantial realisation of value from UCP's development programme," UCP Chairman Donald Lake said.

UCP continued to make good progress in letting space in the second half of year to 31 March 2013. The total office area leased, or subject to binding pre-lease commitments, has increased from 6 million sq ft in March 2012 to 6.61 million sq ft till July, 2013.

UCP's NAV has increased by 11 per cent to £207.9 million (58 pence per share) at 31 March 2013 compared to £187.1 million (52 pence per share) at 31 March 2012.

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