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Srei buys 49% stake in Pune SEZ after developer defaults on loan.

Date: 23-01-2017
Subject: Srei buys 49% stake in Pune SEZ after developer defaults on loan
Kanorias of Srei Group have acquired a significant stake of around 49% in an IT special economic zone (SEZ) in Pune, which has been finding difficult to sell space and service debt.

The SEZ planned by Pune-based developer Kumar Urban Development through its special purpose vehicle, Kumar Builders Township Ventures Pvt Ltd, has defaulted on the loan, after which Srei Infrastructure Finance revoked shares pledged with it in tranches.

This is the second such acquisition by Srei, the Kolkata-based infrastructure lending company, the notable other being majority control of Deccan Chronicle Holdings that it got in 2015 after the media company defaulted to its creditors.

The SEZ, spread over 27 acre of notified area at Mulshi in Pune, has been valued at a net worth of Rs 97.74 crore.

It was notified and granted approval in August 2006 but was granted extensions as much as six times till 2017 as the developers struggled with the project.

Economic slowdown, poor demand for space in the SEZ for IT, ITeS and electronic hardware, changes in the tax regime, particularly amendment to tax provisions such as applicability of minimum alternate tax and withdrawal of benefits under DTC are some of the reasons cited by the developer for the delay in the project, sources said.

Despite Kanorias taking up a substantial stake of 49% or about 1.16 lakh shares in the SEZ developer, Kumar Builders Township Ventures, the promoters are believed to be in control as it was a wholly owned subsidiary of Kumar Urban Development Ltd owned by realtor Lalit Jain.

The development comes a little over a year after Tata Realty and Infrastructure was reportedly initiated talks with Kumar Urban Development for acquiring majority control of the SEZ.

It's the second time the Kanorias have taken a significant stake in a business following the default by promoters who had taken the loan for the project.

Following an order of Debt Recovery Tribunal in December 2014, Srei Infrastructure acquired majority control of media company Deccan Chronicle Holdings as part of an effort to recover the money lent to the Reddy family that runs newspapers including Deccan Chronicle and Financial Chronicle, among others.

Source: dnaindia.com

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