Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Citigroup Seeking $500 Million Sale Leaseback of HQ & Property Portfolio in India - June 23, 2008

Reeling under the US bad loans crisis, Citigroup will raise around $500 million by selling some real estate properties in India, including its headquarters in Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai.

The company has appointed Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj to do a valuation of the headquarters. It is also selling some corporate offices and prime residential properties in Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai. In Mumbai, it has already liquidated about 8 residential properties in the last one year. Recently, it sold a property here to a Bollywood actor for a whopping Rs 30 crore.

Industry officials said the company plans to sell the BKC headquarters and lease it back. When contacted by Financial Chronicle, chairman and country head of Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, Anuj Puri, refused to comment.

While Citibank plans to layoff around 2,000 people globally, its India operations are unlikely to face job cuts. Its investment banking division is growing here, with the firm having appointed Nalin Nayyar, formerly with Lehman Brothers, as a managing director in April.

Citigroup India's headcount has risen to over 22,000 from 21,000 a year earlier. It also hired a new head of mergers and acquisitions, Sameer Nath, who was shifted from Citigroup's US operations.

The company has stopped renting flats to employees. “Since the company plans to sell and lease it back, builders or developers may not be interested. People like high net worth individuals or private equity investors may buy this property,” said an official with IL&FS Property Manage-ment Services, the facilities management arm of IL&FS. Sphere: Related Content

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