Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Cash-strapped Air India sells Mount Road plot for Rs 97 crore

Chennai: The cash-strapped national carrier Air India has sold a 1.3-acre land on Chennai’s Mount Road to the external affairs ministry for Rs 97 crore as part of its efforts to reduce debts. The property is located opposite to SIET Women’s College, close to Teynampet.
It was an internal transaction, worked out by the two government departments and effected on Monday, those in the know of things said. The property was put on the block close to two years ago. Efforts to sell it last year failed as the prospective buyers – investors and developers from Chennai – could not match the expectations of the Air India management.
The property has been valued at a little more than Rs 4 crore per ground. “Given the slump in the real estate market in the city, it is a win-win deal for both the seller and the buyer,” said a realty consultant.
Air India has a few more high-value properties in the city, – an office building in Egmore and about 26 acres near the Chennai airport – no plans are afoot to sell them though. The AI management had sold a one-acre plot in Coimbatore to National Buildings Construction Corporation Limited for Rs 20 crore two years ago.
The Teynampet property is the second high-value transaction in the city in recent times. In December, a 2.3 lakh IT park in Perungudi was purchased by a hospitality and jewellery group based in Chennai for Rs 216 crore.
Meanwhile, AI has put up its prime Pali Hill plot in Mumbai for auction with a reserve price of Rs 200 crore. The half-acre plot with a building having 14 apartments is probably the most lucrative real estate that Air India has been trying to sell to shore up its losses, estimated to be around Rs 50,000 crore.
But property market sources told TOI that its auction “flopped’’ last year and the airline was putting it back on sale. “The last time, builders backed out when they found out that the land falls under coastal regulation zone (CRZ) II,’’ said a Mumbai-based developer, who was interested in buying the property.
20/02/18 Times of India