E-auction begins for sale of 61 Sahara group properties

An e-auction began on Monday for sale of the first lot of five land parcels belonging to beleaguered Sahara group, as part of the process of recovery of funds by the market regulator SEBI.

HDFC Reality, which is conducting the auction, has set a reserve price of Rs722 crore for the five properties.

SBI Caps will auction another five properties belonging to the Sahara group on 7 July. SBI Caps has put a reserve price of Rs470 crore for the five properties. The two entities will be auctioning 61 properties belonging to Sahara group between them.

The sale of the land parcels is expected to fetch an estimated Rs6,500 crore for repayment of funds that Sahara group owes millions of investors in its illegal optionally fully convertible debenture scheme.

There was no official word from either HDFC Realty or SEBI on the results of today's auction, although industry sources fear the prevailing scenario might make it difficult to attract buyers at the right valuation.

HDFC Realty is auctioning a total of 31 land parcels for an estimated value of Rs2,400 crore, while SBI Cap has been tasked with the auctioning of 30 land parcels of an estimated market value of about Rs4,100 crore.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) roped in HDFC Realty and SBI Cap after being asked by the Supreme Court to initiate the process of selling Sahara properties whose titles have been deposited with the court.

These properties are spread across the country and mostly include land parcels.

As per the court directions, they cannot be sold at less than 90 per cent of the circle rates.

HDFC Realty has scheduled its further auctions on 15, 18 and 21 July for eight properties each while SBI Caps has lined up separate auctions on 7, 13 and 20 July.

Meanwhile, Sahara chief Subrata Roy, who has been in jail for the past two years, after his failure to compensate investors despite repeated court orders, is currently out on parole.