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Puravankara Projects to build office portfolio, grow affordable housing unit

LiveMint logoLiveMint 30-03-2017 Madhurima Nandy

Bengaluru: Bengaluru-based real estate firm Puravankara Projects Ltd plans to build its commercial office portfolio, monetize non-core land parcels to reduce debt and significantly grow its affordable housing unit, said company executives.

The company, which has done few office projects so far, plans to build 4-4.5 million sq. ft of commercial office space over the next few years on high demand.

From a 95:5 ratio between residential and office projects, Puravankara plans to ramp up the latter to about 35% in the next five years, said managing director Ashish Puravankara.

It is in talks to enter into joint development agreements for two land parcels in Bengaluru and a 33-acre plot in Pune, where it will develop built-to-suit offices.

Earlier this week, Puravankara sold a land parcel in Raidurg, Hyderabad to a pharmaceutical company for Rs475 crore, of which Rs450 crore will be used to reduce debt. Its net debt as of 31 December, 2016 is Rs2,227 crore. The developer recently appointed Kuldip Chawla as chief financial officer.

In 2015, Godrej Properties Ltd bought 18 acres of land from Puravankara in Bengaluru.

It also has land in cities such as Coimbatore and Kochi, which it may sell at some point of time.

“The plan is to make the balance sheet strong and improve the capital structure through debt reduction. The net debt to equity ratio will now become 0.74 from the 31 December level of 0.94. The impact of this debt reduction will lead to approximately Rs50 crore of interest cost being saved annually,” Chawla said.

Over the next few quarters, the realty firm plans to launch around 13 million sq ft of projects in West and South India, of which almost 9 million sq ft will be affordable housing projects under Provident Housing.

Under Provident, homes are priced at Rs30-45 lakh while Puravankara sells premium homes at an entry price of Rs75 lakh.

“We see a lot of opportunities from developers of existing projects and landowners who are offering projects at great value. While we will focus on both the Puravankara brand of homes and Provident, the affordable housing projects will contribute more in terms of volume,” said Puravankara.

Earlier this week, another Bengaluru developer, Nitesh Estates Ltd, said it plans to grow its rental asset portfolio to more than 5 million sq ft, with an investment of around Rs1,500 crore across multiple projects. The developer has also hired Mahesh Laxman as chief executive officer of commercial and rental business.

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