Unitech Infospace IT SEZ sale on hold as lease rentals rise

Written by Timsy Jaipuria | New Delhi | Updated: Dec 26 2013, 17:50pm hrs
The proposed sale of Unitech Infospace IT SEZ in Gurgaon is understood to have been put on hold in the wake of rising lease rentals in the region.

According to sources, promoters of Unitech Infospace SEZ, a 60:40 joint venture between Unitech Corporate Parks (UCP) and Unitech, were earlier in talks with some private equity firms. But with lease rentals showing an upward trend in the region of late, they seem to have gone into a wait-and-watch mode.

While the SEZ was earlier not fully occupied, during early November, the company managed to rope in consultancy advisory firm Accenture as the single-largest tenant (renting out 800,000 sq ft out of 36,00,000 sq ft of the SEZ).

The lease deal with Accenture is pegged at Rs 1,000-1,200 crore over the next 15 years whereas an outright sale of the SEZ may fetch only Rs 2,400-2,600 crore.

Just like in the housing market where sales have slowed, leasing of offices had also fallen significantly in the first half of 2013. Net absorption across the top eight cities was 10.9 million sq ft, a drop of 15% compared to the same period last year, according to Cushman & Wakefield. But a sudden demand has been seen in this space in the second half of 2013.