German engineering giant Siemens has put on block some of its properties on Bangalore's arterial Mahatma Gandhi Road, the heart of the city’s central business district, as part of a strategy to liquidate its fragmented real estate assets.
Siemens group firms are selling at least two assets, of about 60,000 sq ft, in the central business district fetching about $8 million or Rs 36 crore approximately, sources directly familiar with the development said.
Interestingly, Siemens is holding talks to offload these assets at a discount to the prevailing market rates, and potential buyers could be HNIs or industrialists in their personal capacity. One source said, Siemens was in advanced negotiations to sell roughly 30,000 sq ft of space in Raheja Towers on MG Road to the promoter of a leading agri-based business at around Rs 6,000 per sq ft.
Sources added that another similar sized property in the vicinity, located in DuParc Trinity, has also been put on sale by the company. A second source said, the asking price was at least 20% below the prevailing market rates. "A real estate piece on MG Road can fetch Rs 9,000 per sqft currently. It is not clear why Siemens is looking to offload these assets, especially at below the market rates,” a real estate tracker said.
In response to an emailed query, Siemens spokesperson Viswakumar Menon said, "As part of a regular exercise of reviewing its assets for optimum utilization, Siemens has put some of its properties in Bangalore on sale and has appointed a reputed broking firm for this purpose. The sale of these properties shall be done at the current market price." Siemens India has around 20 companies in its network employing roughly 17,200 people.
Several MNC corporates have offloaded or are in the market to sell their properties as the real estate prices have recovered post the global slowdown period, which impacted the sector in a big way. Japanese consumer electronics major Sanyo sold a 10 acre factory land in the outskirts of Bangalore for Rs 36 crore recently. French energy giant Areva has put its 25-acre land near the new Bangalore International Airport on sale with an asking price of $27 million.
After a long slumber during the economic slowdown in the 2008-09 period, 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.
In some deals, that took place in the last year in the city, realty major DLF sold a 15-acre patch of land in Whitefield, one of Bangalore’s IT suburb in the east, to NetApp India, the arm of US-based data storage equipment maker NetApp Inc, in a deal valued at Rs 120 crore. Also
Prestige Group, through an SPV, sold 60,000 sq feet prime property on Brunton Road in downtown Bangalore to Sun Network family for a consideration of Rs 60 crore.
A real estate source said, typically MNCs and large corporates, who hold fragmented assets bought when during the earlier years of their operation, tend to liquidate them and consolidate holdings to campus-style facilities by bringing all their operations under one roof. Typically, relocation to suburbs and consolidation activities take place in the lifecycle of a corporate, when they gain size and scale and feel a greater need to operate from one space.