Indiabulls sells London property to promoters for Rs 1,830 cr to pare debt

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Indiabulls Real Estate on Saturday said it has sold its property in London to a promoter group firm for 200 million pounds (about Rs 1,830 crore) as part of its plan to focus on the India business and cut debt.

At its annual general meeting (AGM) on September 28, the company's shareholders had approved a proposal to sell its London property to promoters for 200 million pounds.

In a filing to BSE, Indiabulls Real Estate said the "company's wholly owned subsidiary has divested its entire stake in Century Ltd, which indirectly owns Hanover Square property, London to Clivedale Overseas Ltd, an entity owned by the promoters of the company".

With this, Century Ltd ceases to be a subsidiary of the company.

Earlier, the company had disclosed its plans to focus on its India business and pare debt.

"In light of continuing Brexit related issues and uncertainty around it, the London property market remains sluggish. The Great Britain pound has also had a sustained depreciation from around the time of Brexit referendum result," the company had said in the notice for the AGM.

Indiabulls Real Estate had said that a further loan of about 133 million pounds was needed to complete the ongoing construction at 22, Hanover Square property in London. However, it would not like to incur this additional debt on its own balance sheet.

"To reduce debt and to focus more on Mumbai and NCR (National Capital Region) markets, the board, had on earlier date authorised and approved divestment of the company's direct or indirect stake in London property," it had said.

Promoters of the company came forward to acquire the London property for an aggregate consideration of 200 million pounds against the cost of its acquisition at 161.5 million pounds, Indiabulls had said.

In June this year, Indiabulls Real Estate promoters had sold 14 per cent stake in the company through open market transactions to Embassy Group for Rs 950 crore as part of its strategy to focus on financial services and exit the realty business.

However, last month Indiabulls Group faced a setback when the RBI rejected the proposed merger of Indiabulls Housing Finance with troubled private sector lender Lakshmi Vilas Bank.

Speculations were rife about the fate of the merger, announced in April this year, after the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) imposed restrictions on Lakshmi Vilas Bank due to its weak financial health.

To enter the banking space, Indiabulls Group has been selling various completed commercial properties to US-based private equity firm Blackstone.

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