Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL), India’s largest fast moving consumer goods company, has shortlisted entities led by billionaire industrialists Anil Ambani, Ajay Piramal and Gautam Adani, and realty developers Peninsula Land and Oberoi Realty to sell its sea-facing property ‘Gulita’ in Worli here, according to sources close to the development. Gulita is the former training facility of HUL.
The sources said 10 contenders were in the race, but three opted out. The shortlisted candidates have put in bids between Rs 400 crore and Rs 450 crore for the 53,595 sq ft (built-up area) property. While Ambani plans to use the property as one of his residences in the city, the exact plans of other candidates are not known. A hotel project would be lucrative, given the higher floor space index, or the permissible construction allowed on the land, allowed in such projects, said sources in property consultancies.
HUL is in talks with the shortlisted candidates and the process is likely to be completed in two-three months. “It is not that the highest bidder will get the property. Since it is a leased property and it has legal angles to it, it will take some time to conclude the deal,” said one of the sources.
HUL holds the property on a perpetual lease from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. It was planning to sublease the property earlier. But after the Supreme Court set aside the BMC’s move to charge a 50 per cent premium to transfer ownership of the property, it decided to go for an outright sale.
A HUL spokesperson said: “We have an ongoing bidding process with respect to Gulita. We do not have further comments to offer on this at this stage.”
A Piramal Group spokesperson said the company would not like to comment on any market speculation. A query sent to Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group remained unanswered. “Most corporate promoters are looking at it for self use. Among developers only those who are financially sound, are looking at it,” said a chief executive of a real estate consultancy.
Gulita, constructed in 1986, was earlier used as a training centre by HUL. It was put on the block after HUL moved its training centre to a sprawling campus in Andheri here this year.