Unitech is close to finalizing hotel deal

Unitech is close to finalizing a deal with the Ashok Hinduja group for the sale of its Gurgaon-based hotel for Rs 226 crore.

The real estate player has been facing a cash crunch for almost a year. Last month, it decided to sell The Courtyard, its hotel property in Gurgaon, along with five other properties that are in various stages of construction.

The Courtyard is a 198-room hotel built on 1.99 acres. The deal with the Hindujas roughly translates into a price of just over Rs 1 crore per room.

Sources close to the deal said, “We are in the final stages of the transaction. However, we have not reached closure yet.”

The real estate developer was looking at a price between Rs 250 crore and Rs 300 crore for The Courtyard which is to be managed by the Marriott group.

Sources said the price of Rs 226 crore was reached during a series of negotiations between the two promoter groups.

The Ashok Hinduja group, which owns truck maker Ashok Leyland, has been dabbling in real estate for a while now and has a stake in JW Marriott hotel in Mumbai.

It has consolidated its real estate assets under one entity. According to the group’s website, it is planning big real estate projects through the formation of a property trust that will channel investments from government agencies, overseas investors and infrastructure companies.

Unitech is one of the real estate players badly hit by the slowdown in the sector. It has even put its 2-million-square-foot Saket headquarters on the block. Sources said that the sale would take some more time.

Late last month, the company said it expected to raise Rs 1,500 crore through the sale of offices, land and a hotel which would help ease its cash woes. The company has been in talks with private equity players to sell residential properties to raise roughly $100 million. It is also mulling a fresh issue of shares to an investor to mop up another $100 million.

In the full year ended March 31, Unitech had posted net sales of Rs 4,140.4 crore and a net profit of Rs 1,669.19 crore. Its net debt had risen by Rs 1,100 crore to Rs 8,400 crore.

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