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Sahara sell-off moolah may land in RE

Sahara to exit from the airlines industry , investment to be diverted to real estate sector

Apnaloan.com Research Bureau

10 Aug 2007

New Delhi: With the Sahara group all set to exit the airlines business, a major chunk of the sell-off moolah is likely to be re-invested into its real estate business. The group had launched Sahara City Homes project with a lot of fanfare around two years ago and at least five township projects are ready to take off in the coming months, including those in Lucknow, Indore, Ahmedabad, Nagpur and Gwalior, while at least 20 are on the drawing board.

Sources in the real estate industry said the group is likely to pump in more funds for land acquisition for fresh projects, while the five existing ones in the construction phase would largely get funded through sales. The group claims to have a land bank of over 12,000 acres, spread over 110 cities.

The Lucknow project spread over 200 acres would be the first to get off the ground next month, with the remaining four expected to go on stream before the year-end. However, senior executives from Sahara group's real estate business stressed that this line of business runs independently of other business interests the group has. "Our housing projects are on course, irrespective of whether the group remains in the airline business or not,"said a senior executive.

Sources in real estate industry, however, maintained that the group plans to be more aggressive in its housing projects. Given the recent clampdown by the Reserve Bank of India, most real estate players are finding it hard to raise debt finance through banks for land acquisition and for the purpose of construction.

Sources indicated that the group also plans to make fresh investments in the television and entertainment businesses, including film production. The group has been in talks to acquire a couple of music channels. 

(Courtesy: Economic Times)

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