In a significant shift in strategy, DLF plans to sell developed properties, including five IT parks and its hotel business, hoping to mop up 7,000 crore in the next two years and reduce its burgeoning gross debt of 23,990 crore.
At 10:36 am, shares of DLF were trading 2.20 per cent up at Rs 230.15 on the Bombay Stock Exchange.
India’s largest real estate firm’s tax dues are also on the rise – touching 1,703.04 crore in the fiscal year 2011. DLF has received an additional tax demand of 546.85 crore from the income tax department in the last quarter of 2010-11, over and above the 1,156.19-crore demand made in the previous quarter, a senior executive in the company told ET on the condition of anonymity.
Last week, the company reported a consolidated net profit of 344.54 crore in the fourth quarter ended March 11, but that included an income of 93.73 crore brought into the books from the earlier years. Net profit in the corresponding quarter of last year was 426.38 crore. Fourth quarter revenues increased to 2,683 crore from 1,994 crore from the year ago period.
Over the last one-and-a-half years, the real estate major had already sold some non-core assets such as hotel sites in Delhi and Hyderabad as well as non-contiguous land parcels to rake in around 3,000 crore. But it has never sold its buildings and other developed assets.
The company said it could sell non-core assets “like certain IT Parks that yields low return”. “We are looking at combination of certain assets and underdeveloped non-contiguous land parcels, which are not core to our mid-term strategy,” said Ashok Tyagi, DLF group chief financial officer.
The company aims to become debt-free in the medium term. But to reduce its loan components and meet contingent tax obligations that may go up to 1,703 crore, it has almost doubled its fund raising target from divestment of non-core assets, the other senior company executive said.
DLF’s original plan was to raise 4,500 crore from sale of non-core assets, but now plans to raise 10,000 crore in the next 2-3 years. With 3,000 crore already in its kitty from sales of non-core assets in the last eighteen months, it is now identifying properties to raise the balance 7,000 crore.
Referring to the fresh tax demand, Tyagi said, “There are various subsidiaries involved in these cases and each of these entities have filed appeal with their competent authorities in different locations. Some of these claims are on income from Special Economic Zones, which we believe are tax-free.”
In DLF’s luxury hotel chain, Aman Hotel & Resorts, Tyagi said the plan was to divest a majority stake. But the prestigious Aman Delhi (formerly Lodhi Hotel) would not be covered by the stake sale. Investment bankers are expected to get this mandate over the next couple of months.
The five IT Parks included in the list of potential divestment have an aggregate built-up area of over 15 million sq ft. “The company is looking at high net worth individuals and leading IT companies that may be interested,” the second person said. The divestment may gain momentum in the current fiscal with higher indicative realisations for ongoing proposals and expected conclusion on some big-ticket items, the second official said.