Real estate developer Lodha Group is planning to use proceeds from its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) to repay around Rs 4,500 crore debt, out of the total outstanding debt of around Rs 18,000 crore. Lodha’s IPO would be the second biggest IPO in the real estate sector after DLF that raised close to Rs 9,200 crore in 2007. According to the DRHP filed by the company, Lodha Group will raise Rs 3,750 crore through fresh issue in addition to 1.8 crore shares to be sold by the promoters. In addition, Lodha also boasts better revenue than its peers. Net revenue for FY18 of Lodha stood at Rs 9,800 crore, whereas that of DLF and Godrej properties was Rs 6,706 crore and Rs 1,889 crore respectively, showed Bloomberg and company data. However, pre-IPO the gross debt of Lodha is higher than DLF and Godrej Properties. But after the listing, Lodha’s debt would be less than that of DLF.
Lodha Group’s portfolio include luxury projects such as Trump Towers and World One, is betting on the mid-income and affordable housing segment for its future growth. Palava, an integrated city near Mumbai is one of its projects which is an example of mid-income and affordable housing. “We are aiming to make over residential business debt free over the next few years through cash flow generated from affordable and mid-income housing projects,” said Abhishek Lodha, MD and CEO of the company. “The residential segment expected to focus increasingly on affordable housing,” said Anuj Puri, chairman at Anarock Property Consultants to Nirmal Bang Institutional Equities.
The company’s debt would be Rs 13,500 crore after the IPO and out of that about Rs 2,700 crore would be attributable to the commercial business and the housing segment accounting for the rest. “The idea is to reduce debt and move towards a debt free company in the development business. We will have a sizeable portfolio of commercial assets which will give us assured rental income,” he added. Global co-ordinators and book running lead managers to the issue are Kotak Mahindra Capital Company, CLSA, JM Financial and Morgan Stanley.
This is the second attempt by Lodha Group to go public. The firm had filed its draft share sale documents in September 2009 to raise about Rs 2,800 crore but later it withdrew its plan post the global financial crisis. Lodha develops real estate across the residential and commercial sectors in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) , Pune and London. After several years, the Indian equity capital market is seeing real estate companies lining up to raise capital. “Institutional money flowing into Indian rental assets and there is emergence of Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT),” said ICICI Securities in a report.