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Tuesday, Feb 03, 2004

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Texmaco sells Mumbai property at Rs 13-cr profit

Jayanta Mallick

Kolkata , Feb. 2

THE K.K. Birla group outfit, Texmaco Ltd has sold off its leasehold land at Worli in Mumbai at a profit of Rs 13 crore to K. Raheja group and is poised to clear off its vast property in Delhi.

As the prospects for unlocking of value of the company's assets has been brightening, the non-promoter holding, has also been seeing changes in the last few quarters.

The property in Delhi, which belonged to the erstwhile Birla Textiles, has been subject to a prolonged litigation. However, the Supreme Court is expected to pronounce its verdict on the property shortly.

The estimated market value of the Delhi real estate is around Rs 300 crore. It is expected to unlock the valuation of the Texmaco stock significantly because of its size and the huge difference between the book value of the property and the current market price, a Calcutta Stock Exchange broker, said.

Mr Ramesh Maheshwari, President and CEO of the company told Business Line here today that the Mumbai property profit was over the book value of it, including expenses. The developers paid Rs 21.50 crore for sale proceeds and development rights. The profit from the Mumbai property has been used to retire a portion of its debts, according Mr Maheshwari.

The company has chalked out an expansion-cum-modernisation plan for its foundry and heavy engineering division at a cost of around Rs 45 crore in the period between 2004-06.

Meanwhile, Mr Shyam Sundar Dalmia, a Kolkata-based stockbroker, who had picked up 5 per cent stake in Texmaco through market purchases in the first quarter (April-June) of 2003, has increased his stake to 9.99 per cent by the end of the quarter ended on December 31, 2003 through his investment firm - Avis Tie-up Pvt Ltd.

Mr S.K. Poddar, Vice-Chairman of the company had earlier described acquisition by Mr Dalmia as an "investment". The apparent reason for buying into Texmaco, market sources said, was for its real estate in Delhi.

It is interesting to note that promoters' holding has come down to 52.75 per cent at the end December 2003 quarter from 56.45 per cent as on June 30, 2003. The public holding went up to 22.11 per cent from 16.65 per cent and the institutional holding came down dramatically to 5.68 per cent from 20.41 per cent in.

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