Sahara Group's jewel 'Aamby Valley' put up for auction

Paterniano Del Favero
Agosto 14, 2017

The Bombay High Court's Office of Official Liquidator on Monday puts up Sahara Group's Aamby Valley city project in Pune for public auction for a reserve price of ₹37,392 Crore, four days after the Supreme Court declined Sahara chief Subrata Roy's plea to put the auction on hold.

Sahara, which pegs the projects market valuation at over Rs 1 lakh crore, said the liquidator has initiated only first two steps of the auction by issuing advertisement for interested bidders and verifying their KYC (Know Your Clients) and the sale would be withdrawn if Rs 1,500 crore is deposited before the next date of hearing in the Supreme Court.

Official Liquidator Vinod Sharma issued notices in the media on Monday opening up the public auction of "sale/lease" on an "as-is-where-is-whatever-there is" of the Aamby Valley City, around 120 km from here.

The apex court had declined to stay the auction of the property despite the group claiming to have sold its two NY hotels, which it said would generate $1.67 billion to deposit the requisite amount in the joint account with the Securities and Exchange Board of India. The auction will take place in two phases for two days.

The liquidator has invited prospective bidders to bid for the properties along with 15 per cent of the reserve price as earnest money.

The properties on auction include an integrated hill city township spread over 6,761.642 acres in the great Sahayadri mountain range, 1,409.865 acres of land surrounding Aamby Valley City Development and land measuring 321.656 acres within the Satara district. The seller can lower, but cannot increase the reserve price.

The auction notice was published inviting potential bidders for the city that has several amenities such as golf course, airport, hospital, adventure sports, retail, entertainment, global school and hospitality. But there's no knowledge if these companies will also bid for Aamby Valley. The Aamby Valley is spread over more than 10,000 acres and includes luxury resort accommodation and an 18-hole golf course.

However, as per the apex court directive, if the Sahara Group can raise and deposit Rs 1,500 crore before the net date of hearing, the auction process would be withdrawn. Sahara chief, Roy was sent to jail on May 4, 2014, for not complying with the order of the apex court.

The Sahara group vehemently denied the allegations of the SEBI and claimed to pay more than 80% of the dues to the bondholders, but the market regulator, SEBI, disputed that and said they have not paid more than ₹9,000 crore dues.

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