Indian arm of Sotheby’s International Realty in ad-for-equity deal with HT Media
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HT Media Ltd, which runs the Hindustan Times newspaper, has received an approval from its board to invest up to Rs 21.9 crore ($4.55 million) in luxury real estate brokerage firm RealPro Realty Solutions Pvt. Ltd.

RealPro Realty, which has a franchise agreement with Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC, operates in the country under the India Sotheby’s International Realty brand.

HT Media said in a stock-exchange disclosure that it will subscribe to 887,145 share warrants of Realpro Realty Solutions at Rs 247 apiece. According to the agreement, 10% of the subscription amount will be paid upfront, while the remaining can be paid any time after 12 months from the date of subscription to the warrants.

It will own a 10.85% stake in Realpro Realty Solutions following the conversion of warrants into equity shares. HT Media said that the objective of funding was to form a strategic partnership with RealPro Realty.

The definitive agreement on this deal is set to be executed by 30 June, 2018.

Last week, RealPro Realty announced that it had raised $2 million (Rs 12.7 crore) from an ultra-high-net-worth individual to open more offices across key metro cities in India, and set up overseas desks to focus on the Indian diaspora.

India Sotheby’s has an office in Delhi and had recently opened a new one in Mumbai. It provides marketing and other transaction advisory services to its clients, who wish to buy or sell luxury real estate properties, globally.

RealPro Realty was founded by investment bankers Amit Goyal, Ashwin Chadha, and Ankit Tyagi. In May 2017, it had raised $7 million from Brand Capital, the ad-for-equity investment arm of media house Bennett, Coleman and Company Ltd, besides a group of high net-worth individuals.

The company had posted consolidated gross revenues of Rs 11.55 crore and loss after tax of Rs 17 lakh in 2016-17.

Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC provides independent brokerages with marketing and referral programmes for luxury listings. It is a subsidiary of New York-listed Realogy Holdings Corp.

In February 2004, Realogy had entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house, to license the name of Sotheby’s International Realty and to develop a full franchise system.

HT Media deals

HT Media, which is primarily engaged in the publishing business, is an active investor in the e-commerce sector. It competes with BCCL’s Brand Capital. While BCCL generates most of its revenue from advertisements, Brand Capital drives a significant part of that revenue for the deal making unit.

Last month, it had signed an ad-for-equity deal icanstay.com worth Rs 12 crore with First Time Travellers Ltd, which operates luxury hotel aggregation startup. In July last year, it had bought the entire stake of US firm Apollo Global Inc in their joint venture firm India Education Services Pvt. Ltd.

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