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Indiabulls promoters may exit real estate biz

In the last year or so, IBREL has been streamlining its real estate portfolio, exiting office and residential projects in markets like Chennai. (Mint)

Bengaluru: Days after Indiabulls Group chairman Sameer Gehlaut said that the company will give up the real estate business if needed ahead of the proposed merger of Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd with Lakhsmi Vilas Bank, the promoters have initiated talks with potential buyers to exit the business.

The Indiabulls Group is believed to have sounded out joint venture partner Blackstone Group Lp and other leading developers such as Godrej Properties Ltd to offload its stake in its real estate arm Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd (IBREL), The Economic Times reported on Wednesday.

Promoters’ stake in IBREL stands at 38.8%. Gehlaut had also said the real estate business has significantly shrunk and he is happy to give up real estate if the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) sought this on the regulatory front in the context of the merger.

Last year, Blackstone had bought a 50% stake in IBREL’s office properties, One Indiabulls and Indiabulls Finance Center, in central Mumbai for $730 million. In the last year or so, IBREL has been streamlining its real estate portfolio, exiting office and residential projects in markets like Chennai.

“In Indiabulls exits the real estate business, it will be a complete exit. The company has been in talks with Blackstone and other developers too. The process will take time,” said one person familiar with the development, who didn’t wish to be named.

An Indiabulls spokesperson declined to comment.

At 10 am, Indiabulls Real Estate rose 6.7% to 112.60 on BSE while India’s benchmark Sensex rose 0.19% to 38628.64 points.

[“source=livemint”]