Contact Us

Piramal acquires Hindustan Unilever's South Mumbai property Gulita for Rs 452.5 crore

Meghna Maiti, Mumbai, The Economic Times

April 05, 2012


Hindustan Unilever has sold Gulita, its sea-facing property in south Mumbai, to Piramal Realty for Rs 452.5 crore.

The one-acre property in Worli Seaface, which used to house a training centre and private residences of senior executives of Unilever's Indian arm, will give way to a high-end luxury residential complex overlooking the Arabian Sea, which the buyer plans to build there.

The foods-to-soaps company on Wednesday signed an agreement with the Ajay Piramal Group's realty arm to assign its perpetual lease rights of the land and building. This includes both fixed and variable components, HUL informed the stock exchanges.

Piramal won the bid beating businessmen Anil Ambani and Gautam Adani, who had placed bids between Rs 350 and Rs 400 crore.

The land for Gulita, which was built in 1986, was taken on a perpetual lease from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation the Mumbai civic authority. The property was put on the block after the company set up a new campus in the suburbs of Andheri and shifted its training facilities there.

The company had originally planned to sub-lease the property, but decided to finally sell it outright after a Supreme Court order set aside BMC's move to raise the premium on ownership transfer to 50%.

Since HUL put the building on block, it has attracted several buyers which included Anil Ambani, Gautam Adani, Oberoi Realty and Sahara.

Last month, Sahara group company Aamby Valley, which was in the race to buy the property, served a legal notice on Hindustan Unilever after reports that Gulita would be sold to Piramal Realty for Rs 410 crore. Sahara claimed that it was being denied the deal even though it had placed a higher bid.

"It is a rare and fair market value land deal meant only for luxury residential development. Mumbai continues to remain attractive to developers for strategic locations," says Sanjay Dutt, chief executive officer, business at international property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle. Piramal Realty is planning to develop high-end luxury apartments on the one-acre land and Ajay Piramal might keep a part of it for his personal use, given the premium location. The company can build a total of 100,000 sq ft of saleable area on the plot following recent amendments in Development Control Regulations in the city.