Even as its group companies Sahara India Real Estate Corp and Sahara Housing Investment Corp have been facing the heat from the Supreme Court and market regulator Sebi over refundin investors, Sahara has acquired another piece of land in Bangalore to build offices and a hotel.
According to a report in the Economic Times, the Subrata Roy-led conglomerate has bought 25 acres in Bangalore’s IT hub Whitefield for Rs 149 crore from the Asset Reconstruction Company of India (Arcil), which had picked it up from a clutch of banks and financial Institutions after the original owner BPL defaulted on debt payments a few years ago. (PTI)
The plot was bought by Arcil under the SARFAESI Act, which allows banks and financial institutions to auction properties when borrowers default and in turn reduce their non-performing assets. The group is said to have a land bank of nearly 27,000 acres across the country and has sold several projects in Bangalore, Chennai and Mohali. The middle-class investor who was earlier caught between delayed projects, blocked investment, legal hurdles and price rise, may now not ever see the completion of the projects since the Sebi has attached properties.
So far, the group has launched housing projects in 19 cities. In an affidavit filed with the Supreme Court on 4 January 2012, where it had indicated that it had enough underlying assets to pay back investors in Sahara India Real Estate Corporation (SIREC) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation (SHIC), the group had disclosed the market values of some of these real estate assets.
These include Sahara’s Company Aamby Valley Ltd, the Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIREC) which has development rights in 186-acre plot at prime locations in Delhi and Gurgaon, a 33 percent stake in Versova Project comprising 106 acres near Lokhandwala, Mumbai, a 90-95 percent stake in 64 Special Purpose Vehicles (partnership firms) of Sahara group having 64 projects in 64 cities admeasuring 4,378 acres of land, a 40 percent stake in four city-home projects in four cities/town over 318 acres, 30 percent stake in Lucknow district project comprising 170 acres of land, 100 percent stake by way of holding of equity shares of 60 entities having parcels of lands totalling 515 acres at 16 locations in India and a 100 percent stake in two entities holding development rights in land admeasuring about 196 acre and 56 acres at Vasai and Malegaon, Maharashtra.
The entire list of assets have been valued at over Rs 36,000 crore. But according to a Firstpost investigation into the 186-acre plot in Gurgaon bordering Delhi (in Sectors 111 and 113) not only reveal gross over valuation of the asset (as indicated above), but the 12 Sahara companies that had originally bought this land may have made a huge margin by selling development rights to group company SIREC for Rs 1,436 crore. The implication: SIREC investors were sold an inflated asset.