Lodha Group to acquire 88-acre land parcel in Thane from Clariant Chemicals for $191.4M

Mumbai-based real estate developer Lodha Group, which has been spending big bucks to acquire properties in London, has signed an agreement to acquire an 88-acre land parcel in Thane, a Mumbai suburb, from the specialty chemical maker Clariant Chemicals (India) Ltd for Rs 1,154 crore (or $191.4 million), as per a company statement.

The deal translates into Rs 13.1 crore per acre.

"Thane is a rapidly developing part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and we see strong, sustained demand for quality homes in the region," Abhinandan Lodha – deputy managing director, Lodha Group, said.

The privately held realtor is looking to develop residential projects on the land parcel, and expects to have all permissions in place in 12 to 18 months.

This marks the second big land transaction in MMR within a month and also the second significant transaction in Thane locality in the last fortnight.

Early this month, KEC International had sold its 7.3-acre land parcel in Thane to Tata Housing for Rs 211.7 crore ($35 million) or Rs 29 crore per acre. Late last month, Oberoi Realty had outbid others to snap a 25-acre land asset in Mumbai suburbs for Rs 1,155 crore ($190 million).

Lodha Group, which had previously struck one of the single-biggest land acquisition transactions two years ago by buying Bombay Mills land parcel from DLF for an enterprise value of Rs 2,727 crore (over $500 million including debt), has been lately focused on big land acquisitions in London.

In February, Lodha Group acquired the property called New Court, located on Carey Street next to the London School of Economics and Royal Courts of Justice, from West End of London Property Unit Trust for £90 million ($150 million or approximately Rs 930 crore).

Last November, it acquired the Canadian embassy building in London's Mayfair district for $530 million (Rs 3,300 crore) in its biggest move overseas. It was the biggest realty acquisition by an Indian developer outside the Indian subcontinent.

Clariant Chemicals, which has been selling its land parcels in Thane since 2004, started the process to sell the aforesaid land parcel after it obtained consent from the company's board in July last year. The board of the company also gave nod for relocation of its Masterbatches plant from Kolshet to Renaissance Industrial & Warehousing Complex at Bhiwandi in Thane.

In September last year, the company decided to sell its textile chemicals, paper specialties and emulsion businesses to Archroma India Pvt Ltd for Rs 209.15 crore ($33.88 million) in a deal that involved the transfer of employees, assets, liabilities and licences, land leases, permits, consents and approvals.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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