Bangalore: At least six real estate companies have bid for the Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) property in Mumbai’s upscale Worli seaface area.
Bidders quoted Rs475-550 crore for the property that measures about an acre, people familiar with the development said.
If the transaction is finalized at Rs500 crore, it will be among the most expensive land deals in recent times at a per-sq ft. price of about Rs1 lakh.
Hindustan Unilever Ltd’s products. Photo: Bloomberg
HUL holds the perpetual lease title of the sea-facing plot from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation. It will transfer the title to the winning bidder.
The firm did not set a reserve or base price for the bids.
HUL, which used the property as a training centre and as accommodation for its senior management, will open the bids for evaluation next week.
Among the entities that placed their bids are the Ajay Piramal-promoted start-up Piramal Realty Ltd, Ashok Piramal group firm Peninsula Land Ltd, Oberoi Realty Ltd, industrialist Gautam Adani, Om Metals Trading Corp. Ltd and Bhushan Steel, according to two property analysts familiar with the process.
Executives with four of these entities confirmed their companies placed bids on Friday for the HUL property, but declined to be identified.
HUL’s corporate communications department and R.K. Mutreja, general manager, commercial real estate, at the company, declined to comment.
India’s largest consumer goods maker by revenue put the Worli property on the block as part of its efforts to consolidate its land holdings and monetise non-core assets.
Its erstwhile headquarters in south Mumbai has been up for sale since early this year after HUL shifted operations to a 12.6-acre campus in suburban Andheri.
Property analysts say the Worli property is one of Mumbai’s prime pieces of real estate and is, therefore, finding buyers even in a sluggish market. The property is ideal for high-end residences or a private individual house, some analysts said.
“This is a landmark property comparable to the NCPA (National Centre for the Performing Arts) apartment building (at Nariman Point), and it will only appreciate in value even if it appears to be expensive today,” said Sanjay Dutt, chief executive, business, Jones Lang LaSalle, a property advisory. “Expensive acquisitions like this can be justified saying that properties of such stature will always fetch a premium and find buyers.”
Citibank got a record price for one of its NCPA apartments on Marine Drive, selling it for Rs97,842 a sq.ft. in 2007.
In a more recent prominent land transaction, Peninsula Land bought Bishopsgate, a five-storey residential building in Breach Candy, Mumbai, for Rs272 crore in October.