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Old Posted Mar 15, 2007, 6:40 PM
rajkrish rajkrish is offline
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Kerala govt to partner K Raheja, Chalet in $35-m biz hub plan


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, MARCH 14 : K Raheja Corp's $35-million business hub plan near Technopark is set to wear the public private partnership (PPP) garb. The Kerala government has insisted on 26% equity on the project, including a convention centre, exhibition and retailing centre and a four-star resort.

An special purpose vehicle (SPV) to this effect will soon take shape, sources told FE. The realty majors have not been adverse to the change of equity structure.

Chalet Hotels, alongwith K Raheja Corp had secured the mandate for the IT-related business tourism project, as early as two years ago. Chalet Hotels is a joint venture between K Rahejas Corp and IDFC Private Equity. However, following the change of guard in Kerala, the project had hit rough weather.

The PPP outfit now alters things. The tourism arm of the government has already bought 46 acres from the State-run Technopark for this at a price of Rs 5.55 crore.

One caveat, that Technopark has dug its heels on, as part of the land deed, is that the private developers should not be allowed to develop the land as an IT/ITES facility, in competition with Technopark or its upcoming expansion facility Technocity.

Curiously enough, the land for the K Raheja plan is to be transferred on a 90-year lease, a sensitive issue with the LDF government. To extend the 25-year lease with Dubai Tecom for $300-million SmartCity project in Kochi, the State had to wreke out a difficult nod from the LDF's top political bosses. In contrast, in the case of the Mumbai-based realty giant, the thumbs up for 90-year lease came, escaping the media glare.
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