Property developer Peninsula Land Ltd plans to sell 150 acres of land in three cities to raise Rs800 crore, a top company executive said.
The Ashok Piramal Group company plans to use most of the sale proceeds to bring its debt down to around Rs1,000 crore from Rs1,739 crore in June.
The sale plans come at a time when Peninsula is pursuing an asset-light strategy, developing property together with landowners or in joint ventures with other developers, instead of acquiring land of its own.
“What we are looking at is exiting from some of our land assets which are non-core and not ready for development right now. We are working on four different transactions at this stage. We have made a couple of exits in place. We are working on the final documentation,” Rajeev Piramal, executive vice-chairman and managing director of Peninsula Land, said in an interview.
The land parcels are in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru. Peninsula is developing around nine residential projects with a total size of around 800,000 sq. ft in these cities.
“We have been working on selling this land for the last one year. It’s a long process but we have reached the end of it and we will soon close some of them,” Piramal said. The land on sale includes small parcels with high value and some large parcels of land with relatively lower value, he added.
Last week, Peninsula launched Salsette 27, a premium residential project at Byculla in Mumbai. In September, Canada’s Brookfield Asset Management Inc. had invested Rs450 crore in the project in a structured debt transaction.
Earlier, the developer’s 2015-16 annual report said that its priority is to deleverage its balance sheet by monetizing non-moving, long-gestation land assets.
“We would not be doing any land acquisition. We are looking more of doing joint ventures and joint development with little amount of capital and what we will provide is our expertise and leverage our experience and what we have done in the past,” Piramal said.
The asset-light model makes more sense as it is less risky, he said, adding the market is undergoing consolidation where a lot of stressed real estate firms are looking for partnerships with larger developers.
Land sales are critical for most developers to cut debt. Unitech Ltd, BPTP Ltd, Kumar Urban Development Ltd and M3M India Pvt. Ltd are some other developers currently in talks to sell land.