French nuclear and renewable energy giant Areva is putting on sale a 25-acre property in Bangalore, an asset which is not part of its T&D unit divestment to Alstom and Schneider consortium, said multiple sources directly familiar with the development. Areva could be looking at an asking price of Rs 125 crore or $27 million for its land holding located near the international airport in North Bangalore.

As part of a global transaction with Alstom and Schneider, Areva is shedding 72% stake in Areva T&D India. But the real estate in one of Bangalore's emerging hubs is not part of this transaction and will be offloaded separately. One source said, Areva has engaged a global real estate consulting firm for selling the land but a formal process will be set in motion once the local regulators including Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) gives final clearance to the sale of the Indian unit.

Currently, Alstom and Schneider are in the midst of mandatory open offer for minority shareholders of Areva T&D India, which followed the global deal signed in December last year.

Interestingly, one more multinational company, with a presence in Bangalore, has pressed the exit button on its land asset. In recent weeks, Japanese consumer electronics giant Sanyo, which was sold to Panasonic earlier this year, sold its 10.5-acre factory land on Old Madras Road (near Whitefield which is another IT satellite hub) in Bangalore to developer Salarpuria Sattva Group for Rs 36 crore (about $8 million), said a source close to the development. Sanyo has quietly exited the Indian consumer durables space in the wake of its financial troubles and sell-off. Sanyo had a joint venture with BPL, which is no longer operational. The liquidation was part of Sanyo's exit from its struggling Indian business, sources added.

VCCircle could not reach Sanyo and Salarpuria Sattva Group for their comments at the time of filing this article. An email query to Areva's global headquarters remained unanswered at the time of posting this report.

Areva's presence in India was mainly through its T&D arm even though the French MNC has signalled strong interest in participating in India's nuclear and renewable energy sectors, which are expected to take off in a big way.

A second source said, investors from retail and hospitality sectors could look at acquiring the property in anticipation of the ecosystem development around the Bangalore International Airport Ltd (BIAL).

Still, industry sources said, the asking price might be at a premium to the prevailing sentiments, even though property deals in India’s technology capital have shown signs of revival.

"North Bangalore properties, especially around BIAL, hold long term potential. But the appreciation will kick in only when the civic infrastructure starts developing. Right now, it is still some time away. A transaction at around Rs 4 crore per acre (of land) is more likely at present," explained one realty expert, and honcho at an MNC brokerage, who did not wish to be quoted.

After a long slumber during the economic slowdown in the 2008-09 period which impacted the Bangalore market severely, property deals appear to be back on the radar although it still does take a much longer time for the actual sale to conclude. “There are lot of enquiries. Corporates and developers are looking at selling land parcels to divest idle assets and generate liquidity,” said a consultant, without wishing to be quoted. 

VCCircle had earlier reported on the rising trend of corporates in the city buying land parcels from developers in an opportunistic market, skewed to buyers.

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