Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail is vying for Hindustan Unilever’s (HUL) real estate assets in Bangalore, which is on the block. Also in the race are real estate majors DLF, Hiranandani and Nitesh Estates.

The 28-acre property at Brookefields, located in the heart of the city’s IT corridor, is expected to fetch around Rs 400 crore. The deadline for filing bids ended last Friday. The sale of Brookefields property, which housed the headquarters of HUL’s beverage business till recently, is part of a move by the company to unlock value from its real estate assets in Mumbai and Bangalore.

HUL and Cushman & Wakefield have whittled down their initial expectation of Rs 15-20 crore per acre following the recent slump in Bangalore realty prices. The bids could have come in with per acre valuation of around Rs 12-15 crore, sources added. While Bangalore-based Nitesh Estates appears to have partnered a real estate fund to take part in the bid, other leading city-based developers such as Prestige, Mantri and Embassy were not in the fray. However, there are unconfirmed reports that RMZ and Puravankara Group had participated in the bid.

Reliance Retail is looking at making Brookefields a hub for its back-end, logistics and training operations in the region. It is currently in the midst of setting up a few regional hubs of large magnitude. Sources said Reliance also explored the possibility of setting up a centralised retail training campus on the property, but decided in favour of regional training centres. When contacted, a Reliance spokesperson declined to comment on its bid for the property.

Sources said the developers in the fray could look at converting the property into an IT SEZ as it meets the minimum requirements. This comes even as there is a softening of demand for residential and office space, given the projected over supply in this part of Bangalore. The Brookefields property came into HUL fold when it acquired Brooke Bond. The campus, with its proximity to several emerging micro markets like Whitefield and Marathahalli, was set up when Brooke Bond India shifted its base from Kolkata to Bangalore in the mid-80s.


Economic Times-31/07/07
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  • hello. it`s my first post

    hello. it`s my first post
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