Sahara raises Rs1,211 crore through sale of Gurgaon plot to M3M

Subrata Roy's Sahara group has raised Rs1,211 crore from the sale of 185-acre land on Dwarka Expressway in Gurgaon, in one of the biggest land deals in the national capital region, on Thursday.

The Sahara group, which has been struggling to sell its assets both overseas and in the country to raise Rs10,000 crore to meet bail condition set by the Supreme Court for release of its chief, managed to sell the plot to Gurgaon-based real estate firm M3M India Pvt Ltd, which was the highest bidder in the auction for the land.

The 185-acre piece of land situated in Chauma, near the Gurgaon-Delhi border, is one of four land parcels Sahara is said to have signed sale agreements for last week. The others are in Jodhpur, Vasai (near Mumbai) and Pune.

M3M intends to develop a smart city on the Gurgaon land in the next five years or so, said Pankaj Bansal, director, M3M.

Basant Bansal, CMD of M3M, said his firm bid aggressively as a project on the land would be an attractive proposition.

M3M will have to pay the money in six installments over the next six months. Once the entire payment is made, Sahara India will transfer the land to the company.

''We intend to create a mixed-use development consisting of branded residencies, branded service apartments, multiplexes, hotels, offices, entertainment centres and other smart city type of development. We will also have international medical, educational and sports facilities in this area,'' Bansal said.

The Supreme Court had allowed Sahara to sell properties in Jodhpur, Pune, Chauma in Gurgaon and Vasai near Mumbai after it was satisfied that the transactions met the conditions set in its June 4 order.

Sahara had earlier held unsuccessful talks with prospective investors to mortgage or sell its iconic hotel properties in New York and London. However, it has managed to raise an additional loan of about Rs3,800 crore against these properties and is awaiting the apex court's approval for the loan.

Roy has been in Tihar jail for the last eight months as Sahara failed to raise Rs10,000 crore needed to bail him out.

The Sahara, which is locked in a bitter legal battle with stock market regulator Sebi over its illegally raising funds from the public in an optionally fully convertible debuntures, has to raise over Rs24,000 crore to settle the case.