India's second-biggest real estate developer Unitech Ltd has raised $325 million through qualified institutional placement (QIP) issue. The funds have been raised by the real estate major to retire part of its over Rs 8,900 crore debt and strengthen the balance sheet.

The investors in the QIP include private equity hedge fund players like Och-Ziff Capital Management, Orient Global and Sandstone Capital, reports Business Standard. Other investors include HSBC and Prudential. Around 90% of the issue has been lapped up by overseas

institutional investors, while the rest has been bought by domestic institutional investors.

The holdings of promoter Chandra family would fall to 51% after the QIP from 64%. The QIP has been issued at a price of Rs 38.50 per hare. Unitech was trading at Rs 51.5 today at 1 pm, reaching a days high of Rs 54.2. The deal is being touted as the largest QIP in real

estate space and was advised by UBS AG's India unit and IDFC-SSKI Securities Ltd.

This is also the first QIP issue since market regulator SEBI allowed firms to fix the price based on the average price of two weeks. Earlier the period of average price calculation was 6 months. The

issue will reduce the debt to equity ratio of Unitech from 2.4 as of December 2008 to 1.4.

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