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Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thomas Cook to put its commercial spaces on sale

This story first appeared in DNA Money edition on Tuesday, May 21, 2013.

Travel and tour operator Thomas Cook (India) Ltd (TCIL) is selling some of its commercial spaces to raise money for working capital requirements.

The company is understood to have roped in international property consultant (IPC) Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) as advisor for the office space transactions.

“We are always on the lookout for opportunities that may arise due to changes in the market for this domain,” said Madhavan Menon, MD of TCIL.

He, however, did not share details of the office spaces that may be sold and the kind of money that is being sought to be raised.

TCIL is understood to own around 32 properties or 1.26 lakh square feet (sq ft) of office space across the country. In addition, it reportedly owns over 60,000 sq ft and 43,000 sq ft in Mumbai and Delhi, respectively.

According to JLL’s monthly real estate monitor (May 2013), prime office space in a metro like Mumbai would typically cost anywhere between Rs 21,000 and Rs 30,000 per sq foot. In cities like Hyderabad, it is Rs 5,500-6,000 per sq foot. In Pune, it is Rs 4,750-5,000. Office space in Kolkata costs around Rs 18,000 per sq foot. In Delhi, the per sq foot rate is around Rs 31,500.

TCIL’s south Mumbai property itself is estimated to be worth up to Rs 250 crore.

In May last year, Fairbridge Capital (Mauritius) had acquired a 76.69% stake in TCIL from its erstwhile UK-based parent.

In February this year, TCIL diversified into executive search industry by acquiring a 74% stake in Ikya Human Capital Solutions, a staffing solutions company, for Rs 256 crore.

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