To pay Subrata Roy's bail, SEBI will sell Sahara assets

Grosvenor House

On Tuesday, India's Supreme Court ordered the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to start selling properties of the Sahara conglomerate to help pay the bail of Sahara Group founder Subrata Roy, who was jailed in March 2014 after the group failed to repay billions of dollars to bondholders.

According to the Indian Express, due to Sahara’s struggles to sell its properties, the court suggested the market regulator devise a suitable mechanism for sale of the properties so that Rs 10,000 crore can finally deposited with SEBI as a pre-condition set by the apex court for Roy's release.

The bench directed SEBI to sell Sahara’s assets after it was informed that a list of 86 properties, which according to Sahara’s lawyers were worth Rs 40,000 crore, had been handed over to the regulator to show the group’s bonafide.

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Because SEBI already has the list of properties, and Sahara's attempts to sell these properties have failed, the court said that SEBI should sell the assets "one by one" and keep Sahara informed about the money that comes in. The sales will take place under the supervision of Justice BN Agrawal, who has been appointed by the court to oversee the process.

It also said that properties should not be sold for less than 90 percent of the circle rate for the area concerned and that SEBI shall seek the court’s permission if it wants to sell any property at a lower rate.

Domestically, the largest transaction Sahara managed to close on its own was the sale of a 185-acre parcel of land to Gurgaon-based real estate company M3M India Pvt. Ltd for Rs.1,211 crore in December 2014. Sahara also said that it had signed sale agreements for land in Chauma near the Gurgaon-Delhi border. The other land parcels are in Jodhpur, Vasai and Pune, LiveMint is reporting.

These are part of the 10 properties Sahara was allowed by the Supreme Court to sell. A part of the Aamby Valley project in Maharashtra, about 600 acres, was also allowed to be sold.

Last month, the Sahara Group sold London's Grosvenor House Hotel to Qatar.

Sources: Indian Express, LiveMint

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