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DLF eyes three big-ticket sales in 2012

Dilasha Seth & Nivedita Mookerji  |  New Delhi 

Needs to realise roughly Rs 3,000 crore to keep to debt reduction target for current financial year.

India’s largest developer by market capitalisation, DLF Ltd, is banking on at least two to three big-ticket sales in early 2012, to keep to its debt reduction target for the current financial year. The developer needs to realise Rs 3,000 crore to Rs 3,500 crore from non-core asset sales, to reach its 2011-12 goal.

Although the company is still far from the divestment figure it had set, Rajeev Talwar, executive director sounded confident about making it on time. He told Business Standard the developer was expecting a couple of big-ticket sales before the current financial year closes.

Besides the much-talked Aman Resorts deal, DLF is looking at a transaction to offload stake in its Pune IT Special Economic Zone (SEZ), sometime early next calendar year, Talwar said. Another deal to sell stake in the Noida IT SEZ is also in the offing. According to analysts, these three deals could fetch DLF Rs 3,300 crore.

Real estate giant DLF Ltd plans to retire debt by raising funds through a series of asset sales
Rs 22,519 crore
DLF debt as of Sept 2011
Rs 19,500 crore (approximately)
Aims to cut debt by March
Likely asset sale
* Aman Resorts
(minus Delhi Aman)
* Pune IT SEZ
* Noida IT SEZ
* Unbuilt pieces of land held by DLF Hotels & Hospitality Limited

“The Aman hotel sale is only at arm’s-length, but would not conclude this calendar year. Early next year looks more likely,” said Talwar. The stake sale in Aman will exclude the Delhi hotel (earlier named Lodhi). Analysts said the Aman Resorts sale could be an estimated Rs 2,000-crore deal. The Pune SEZ deal could be worth Rs 900 crore and the stake sale in Noida SEZ could fetch the company between Rs 400 crore and Rs 450 crore.

The company may look at selling the unbuilt land of DLF Hotels and Hospitality Ltd (DHHL), again as part of its non-core divestment strategy. “We will try to get the maximum valuation of the sale,” he said.

Earlier this week, DLF acquired an additional 26 per cent stake in its joint venture DLF Hotel Holdings Ltd (DHHL), from Aro Participation Ltd and Splendid Property Company, affiliates of Hilton International, for Rs 120 crore. The joint venture has one Hilton hotel, in Delhi.

Another divestment DLF has initiated is in Galaxy Mercantile, a JV between DLF Home Developers Ltd and Infrastructure Development Finance Company. Four days ago, DLF announced signing an agreement to divest all its stake in Galaxy Mercantile. Galaxy will buy the entire DLF stake in the project for Rs 450 crore over the next 12 to 18 months. DLF has already received the first tranche of Rs 200 crore from this deal. The balance payment has been linked to various leasing milestones.

As for the SEZ projects in Pune and Noida, DLF holds 70 per cent in both. The Pune SEZ is a joint venture with Ackruti City. According to Talwar, the company is in talks with Indian and foreign to sell its stake in the Pune SEZ. The industry buzz is that international private equity major Blackstone will buy into DLF’s Pune SEZ. The Noida SEZ asset is a JV with another real estate company, 3C.

In the case of Aman hotels, DLF has got the final bids from four or five Khazanah, Malaysian government’s wealth fund, is being seen as the most likely buyer. Other prominent bidders include Kingdom Holdings, the company which owns the Four Seasons Hotel, and a Chinese hospitality group, it is learnt.

DLF’s net debt stood at Rs 22,519 crore as the of end of September. It aims to bring down debt to Rs 19,000 crore to Rs 19,500 crore by the end of this financial year, and to Rs 10,000 crore by 2013, through sale of non-core assets.

First Published: Fri, December 09 2011. 00:32 IST