Lodha Group To Raise $2 Billion Over Two Years

Mr. Abhinandan Lodha, Director, Lodha Group (Bloomberg), confidently said in mumbai that their aim are to raise $2 billion over the next two years from private equity investors and an initial sale of shares to fund its growth.

The developer, which has received investments by JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Deutsche Bank AG in the past two years, said that funds sponsored by mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. agreed to invest $54 million in the projects being developed by the group.

Mr. Lodha said, “We are in an aggressive growth and need funds. We could consider an IPO in the next 24 months.”

Property developers in the world’s fastest growing major economy after China are seeking more investments to meet rising demand in an economy that’s grown an average 8.7 % since 2003, lifting the incomes of individuals and companies. Salaries in India may rise an average 15 % this year, the sixth successive annual increase of more than 10 %.

The real estate company plans to expand in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad. Three-fourths of the projects are for houses and the remaining for shops and offices. The company plans to deliver 27 million square feet of space over the next three years.

The company is also developing some premium properties in Mumbai, among them Lodha Solitaire, where a 7,200-square-feet apartment is priced at 510 million rupees ($12.8 million).

Funds sponsored by HDFC, and registered in Mauritius, will buy a 45 percent stake in Mumbai-based Lodha’s special purpose vehicles for its projects in the southern city of Hyderabad, the company said. Special purpose vehicles are companies set up for investment purposes.

Deutsche Bank led a group of private equity firms to invest $425 million in Lodha projects in September and JPMorgan Chase & Co. invested $60 million in the group’s projects in December 2006.

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