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Indian developer lines up IPO to raise US$1 billion

Lodha Developers' proposed initial public offering could be India's biggest in four years

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2014, 1:29am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 15 July, 2014, 5:04am

Lodha Developers, which is building the world's tallest residential tower, is planning an initial public offering that may raise as much as US$1 billion, sources said.

The sale could value Mumbai-based Lodha at as much as US$10 billion, one source said.

A US$1 billion offering would be India's biggest since 2010, when state-owned miner Coal India's share sale raised US$3.4 billion.

Lodha is building the 117-storey World One residential tower, which it says will be the world's tallest at 423 metres.

The development, which will feature apartments outfitted by Giorgio Armani's interior design brand, is located in central Mumbai's Lower Parel district.

Home prices in Mumbai, India's financial capital, have more than doubled in five years, according to data from Liases Foras Real Estate Rating & Research.

Lodha agreed to buy a Canadian diplomatic property in central London's Mayfair district in November last year for C$530 million (HK$3.82 billion). In February, it bought another London property on Carey Street, close to the Royal Courts of Justice, for £90 million (HK$1.19 billion) to develop a residential project.

The developer is reviving its public share offering after seeking to raise as much as 27.9 billion rupees (HK$3.59 billion) in 2010. Lodha had held discussions with investment banks about an offering, although the process was at an early stage and no advisers had been hired, the sources said.

"We are well capitalised to meet our business growth plans through our internal cash flows, and have no plans of raising capital through a public listing at this time," Lodha said.

The S&P BSE Sensex has rallied 18 per cent this year, the best performance among the world's 10 biggest markets, as foreigners poured US$11 billion into Indian shares.

India's benchmark stock index may double in the next three years after Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the groundwork for strengthening Asia's third-largest economy in last week's budget, according to BlackRock.

Lodha is also building Palava, a 16.2 sq km township near the planned second airport in Mumbai.

The company, founded in 1980 by chairman Mangal Prabhat Lodha, has more than 35 million sq ft under development, according to its website.

In 2010, Lodha bought a central Mumbai plot for 40.5 billion rupees from the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority, which it said was India's biggest land deal to date.

Lodha posted sales of 90 billion rupees in the previous financial year March, the most recent year for which figures are available, according to the company's website. That is higher than Kushal Pal Singh's DLF, the largest listed developer in India, which reported sales of 77.7 billion rupees that year.

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