SC allows liquidator to sell Sahara's Aamby Valley property in parcels

The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed the Bombay High Court's official liquidator to sell the Aamby Valley property of the Sahara group by splitting it into saleable parcels of land, as there were no takers for the purchase of the entire Valley.

The bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice A K Sikri allowed the sale of the township in saleable parcels of land after the counsel appearing for the official liquidator and receiver said that despite advertising twice, it could not get buyers.

Two companies -- Mahindra and Piramal Group -- had expressed interest in buying the Valley property and were currently carrying out due diligence for the same, the counsel informed the court.

It is, however, not known if the companies want to buy the whole project or a part of it, according to the counsel.

Selling the entire Aamby Valley, spread over 8,900 acres, would be difficult as the project was not attracting buyers for the whole property and the second bidding to sell it had failed, he added.

"Its a huge property... The court may consider to permit us to sell it in parcels. It would be much easier," the official liquidator told the court.

The international school, golf course, convention centre and hotel could be sold separately to attract more buyers for the project -- located in Pune, Maharashtra, the counsel suggested to the court.

Allowing the sale of the property in parcels, which would take two months, the court posted the matter for April 19.

Earlier, the top court had directed the auction of Aamby Valley to recover money that the Sahara group has to pay to the market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for returning investors' money that its two companies SIRECL and SHICL had raised from investors in 2007 and 2008.

The Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and the Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) had raised Rs 240 billion through optionally fully convertible debentures in 2007 and 2008. The top court by its August 31, 2012 order had directed Sahara to refund this amount with 15 per cent interest.

The Sahara group has already given a part of the money to the SEBI that is parked in the SEBI-Sahara Refund Account.

On August 10, the apex court had declined the plea of Sahara chief Subrata Roy to put on hold the auction of Aamby Valley and allowed the liquidator to go ahead with the auction.


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