India DLF may delay REIT IPO

MUMBAI, March 13  – Indian developer DLF Ltd may delay a planned initial public offering in Singapore of a real estate investment trust and instead opt for a private placement to raise about $500 million, a source said on Thursday. DLF, India’s most valuable property firm, had planned to raise $1.5 billion from the Singapore listing, but the company had changed track because of large falls in global markets since the plan was announced last year.
DLF was now in talks with a clutch of investors and expected to seal a deal by the end of the month, the source said.
“The markets are so unpredictable now, we may wait till they stabilise before doing an IPO,” said the source, who has knowledge of the deal but did not want to be named.
“We are in touch with five or six investors for a placement, which we will probably finalise by month-end,” he said.
Potential investors include Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and DE Shaw, he said, confirming a report in the Economic Times on Thursday, with DLF seeking to raise 20 billion rupees ($500 million) in private placements for the property trust.
DLF also planned to invest $750 million in the trust, owned by a subsidiary, DLF Assets, the paper said, citing unnamed sources.
The company that handles DLF’s media enquiries declined to comment.
DLF had said in February it was still working on the IPO and expected it to be launched in the second quarter of the year, with regulatory approvals expected within a month.
Volatile markets have seen more than $23 billion in global IPO plans postponed or withdrawn, according to Thomson Financial.
India does not yet allow REITs to be floated, but draft guidelines for them were issued in December by the market regulator.

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