Essar group is in talks with global investment firm Brookfield to sell its 1.25 million sq ft Equinox Business Park at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) in Mumbai for about Rs 24 billion (Rs 2,400 cr), according to sources. The group had announced in 2016 that it would sell the property to realty firm RMZ Corp, but the deal could not be concluded. It is now in the advanced stage of talks with Canada- based Brookfield Asset Management to sell Equinox Business Park, which has four buildings, the sources said. The deal is expected to close this month for around Rs 24 billion (Rs 2,400 cr), they said, adding that Essar would utilise the entire sale proceeds to repay loans. The group is reducing its debt by monetising non-core assets.
Once the Equinox deal is completed, the total debt reduction will amount to Rs 775 billion (Rs 77,500 cr) in the current fiscal, sources said. The group has already reduced its debt by Rs 726 billion (Rs 72,600 crore) following the completion of the Essar Oil sale to Rosneft and a consortium of Trafigura and UCP. In April last year, Ruias-led Essar Group also announced the sale of its BPO company Aegis Ltd to Singapore-based private equity fund manager Capital Square Partners for an estimated $300 million. The agreement with the Bengaluru-based RMZ lapsed because the two parties were unable to agree on final terms even after 23 months from the signing of the agreement. Unlike the housing sector, the commercial real estate, especially the office segment, is performing fairly well and has been attracting huge investment from domestic and foreign investors. Recently, realty major DLF's promoters concluded the sale of their 40 per cent stake in rental arm DLF Cyber City for nearly Rs 120 billion (Rs 12,000 crore).