TRIKONA Capital, which is listed on London’s Alternate Investment Market, has acquired 33% stake in real estate company Uppal’s Group’s Haryana SEZ for nearly $50 million.

It is learnt the SEZ is owned by a special purpose vehicle, in which Trikona Capital has acquired 33% stake and the remaining is held by Uppal’s Group. The company’s proposed SEZ has received BoA clearance. It is a 67.5-acre SEZ in the Shikohpur region of Haryana. Uppal’s Group MD Manish Uppal confirmed the deal. The company has received investment from Trikona Capital and the SEZ has recently been notified by the government. Mr Uppal did not divulge the exact investment amount but sources say the investment is nearly Rs 200 crore. This is the fund’s second investment in Uppal’s projects. Trikona has invested $58.3 million in Uppal’s IT Park, which is being developed by Panthera Developers.

UK-based real estate fund Trinity Plc raised about $500 million on AIM last year for investments in the Indian real estate sector. Trikona Capital, the asset management company of Trinity, has been promoted by two US-based entrepreneurs — Rakshid Chugh and Aashish Kalra. The fund will make investments in realty through two funds launched in the US and UK. Uppal’s Group is one of the leading real estate companies in north India having business interests in residential, commercial and office space. The company mostly has operations in tier II and III cities in Haryana, Punjab and UP. The company also operates in the hospitality vertical and owns the disputed property Uppal’s Orchid on the Delhi-Gurgaon border. The property is currently in the midst of a land use dispute between the owners and MCD.

Trikona has made investments in highway developer IL&FS Transportation Networks. The fund has also invested $20 million to acquire 16% stake in a project owned by Kapstone Constructions in Thane. In October last year, Trikona entered into a JV with Mumbai’s real estate developer Lokhandwala Builders for a residential project in Mumbai at an estimated cost of $103.4 million. The fund picked 49% stake in the venture for $21.5 million. It has also picked equity in Ranbaxy-promoter company Fortis through a pre-IPO placement. SEZs are attracting a lot of private equity investors. Recently, US based Lehman Brothers invested nearly $80 million in the Bangalore based 1,000-acre research and development SEZ Gandhi City. IIML, the PE arm of IL&FS, is also looking to co-invest $20 million in the SEZ, along with Lehman Brothers.

Economic Times dated 27 Jul'07
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