Satyam episode has pushed Sicom Ltd, a financial institution owned by Maharashtra government, into the real estate sector. The firm, in which JC Flowers owns 37% stake, owns a minority stake in Maytas Infrastructure, promoted by the Rajus of Satyam. Sicom's move is a result of Maytas' failure to cough additional shares as collateral for a loan the company had taken, according to a report in Financial Chronicle.
Then Maytas group promoters agreed to give a land parcel near Hyderabad to Sicom as additional collateral, which has motivated Sicom to venture into real estate business.
The Mumbai based company has now formed a wholly owned subsidiary, Sicom Realty Private Ltd. (SRPL). The subsidiary will purchase land for development as well as co-invest in projects in the residential and the commercial space. Sicom also plans to float a private equity fund to invest in the real estate projects. This, however, would happen at a later stage.
Currently, SRPL is concentrating only on projects in Maharashtra. It has entered into partnerships with developers to build projects with revenues of around Rs 1,500 crore. It also bought a 100 acre plot in Nagpur, near the Multimodal International Hub Airport. The realty subsidiary plans to develop the area into a complete township, for which it may also consider entering into partnerships.
SRPL also offers advisory services to its clients in the real estate sector such as identification of suitable location, acquisition of land, procurement of relevant clearances from the government agencies. Sicom has decided to set up different subsidiaries for undertaking specialised activities. Once the companies grow into substancial operations, Sicom will dilute its stakes in them to raise capital for funding the expansion of its core business activities.