Hotel Leelaventure to sell Kerala hotel for Rs500 crore

The company's debt is estimated at Rs3,950 crore. It has been looking to raise funds through sale of land and promoter equity to repay debt

Hotel Leelaventure said it would sell its luxury hotel property in Kovalam, Kerala to Travancore Enterprises (TEPL) for Rs500 crore, in an effort to reduce its debt.

The sale will be structured in such a manner that Leelaventure will transfer the hotel undertaking to a subsidiary special purpose vehicle (SPV), which will be then acquired fully by TEPL.

"...Pursuant to such transfer of undertaking to the SPV, TEPL shall acquire 100% of the shares of such SPV from Leela for a total cash consideration of Rs500 crore," Leelaventure said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Leelaventure said the deal was pursuant to the decision of the board to pursue an 'Asset Light Strategy' to reduce its debt.

The company's debt is currently estimated at Rs3,950 crore. It has been looking to raise funds through sale of land and promoter equity to repay debt.
The hospitality chain has been holding talks with 2-3 private equity players to raise up to Rs600 crore.

In May this year, the company's board also approved fund raising of up to Rs1,000 crore by way of qualified institutional placement, FCCB and others.
The company, however, said it would continue to manage the Kovalam hotel under 'The Leela' brand name through a long term management contract to be finalised with the SPV. The deal is subject to shareholders and regulatory approvals, it added.

TEPL is owned by B Ravi Pillai, an Indian industrialist from Kerala, based in Saudi Arabia dealing in the petrochemical business. He was awarded the Padma Shree in 2009.

The company is also actively reviewing proposals for other management contracts in other parts of the country.

In the late afternoon, Hotel Leelaventure was trading at around Rs36.80 per share on the BSE, 3.41% down from the previous close.


HCL Infosystems net plunges 83% in June qtr

Net sales of HCL Infosystems dropped by 18.39% to Rs2,615.40 crore for the June 2011 quarter

IT firm HCL Infosystems reported nearly 83% decline in net profit to Rs11.48 crore for the quarter ended 30 June 2011. The company had a net profit of Rs67.23 crore for the same period last year, HCL Infosystems said in a statement.

Net sales of the company dropped by 18.39% to Rs2,615.40 crore for the June 2011 quarter, against Rs3,204.86 crore in the same quarter last year.
"As we had indicated last quarter, systems integration business continued to be severely impacted by slow down in projects and customer decision cycles and that may continue over a few quarters," HCL Infosystems chief executive officer Harsh Chitale said. Also, considering the current environment, with likelihood that delay in projects may continue for some more time, there could be some additional cost impact on the projects business of the company, he added.

"Hence we are reviewing the possible impact project by project and discussing the same with the customers and the vendors. We shall finalise this assessment by end of first quarter of FY12," he said.

For the year ended 30 June 2011, the company's net profit stood at Rs168.19 crore, down 30.6% from Rs242.38 crore in the last quarter.
Net sales declined by 5.22% to Rs11,419.92 crore for FY11 from Rs12,049.82 crore in the last fiscal.

"The economy at large has been going through a difficult phase with both enterprises and consumers being cautious in decision making and discretionary spends," HCL Infosystems Founder HCL and chairman Ajai Chowdhry said.

IT sectors like system integration, IT product and services have been affected in the domestic markets with the slow government project execution and decision process, he added. The employee strength increased to 7,231 in 2011, from 6,731 in 2010.

The company has recommended final dividend of Rs2 per share on the fully paid-up equity shares of Rs2 each for the financial year ended 30 June 2011.
HCL Infosystems has already paid three interim (quarterly) dividends aggregating to Rs6 per share during the year.

In the late afternoon, HCL Infosystems was trading at around Rs67.90 per share on the Bombay Stock Exchange, 8.61% down from the previous close.


Tata MF launches Fixed Tenure Fund Series 2 Scheme B

Tata Mutual Fund new issue closes on 23rd August

Tata Mutual Fund has launched Tata Fixed Tenure Fund Series 2 Scheme B, a close-ended income scheme.

The investment objective of the scheme is to generate income and/or capital appreciation by investing in wide range of debt and money market instruments having maturity in line with the maturity of the schemes. The tenure of the scheme is 369 days.

The new issue closes on 23rd August. The minimum investment amount is Rs10,000.

Crisil Short Term Bond Fund Index is the benchmark index. Murthy Nagarajan is the fund manager.


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