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DE Shaw or Symphony Capital to exit funds from DLF Assets

One of the two investment funds– US-based DE Shaw and UK-based Symphony Capital — who have put in money in DLF Assets (a pri-vately held firm floated by the promoters of DLF), is looking at exiting its investments, DLF vice chairman Rajiv Singh told analysts in a con-ference call on Monday.

DE Shaw and Symphony Capital have investments of around $400 million and $650 million respectively in DLF Assets(DAL), a company that buys IT SEZs developed by DLF.

“One of the two investors(DE Shaw or Symphony Capital) is looking at exiting DAL either at the time of listing or before that,” Mr Singh said, without naming the investor citing non-disclosure agreement. He added that the promoters are considering an initial public offer-ing(IPO) for DAL, but it could be contingent on market scenario and would happen only later next fiscal(2009-10). DAL 's plan to list as real estate investment trust on the Singapore stock exchange in 2008 was put off following the global economic tumoil.

Hedge fund DE Shaw which invested $400 million in DAL in 2007, is widely believed to be the fund looking to pull out of DAL. But this could not be independently confirmed. Lehman Brothers, which had earlier invested $200 million in DAL, has already exited in the July-September quarter. Lehman sold its investment to an existing investor Symphony Capital, which had invested $450 million in early 2008.

Mr Singh earlier told mediapersons that DAL was in discussion with multiple pivate equity players and was expecting to raise over Rs 2,000 crore through private placement in the current quarter.

DAL owes DLF over Rs 5,500 crore for the properties purchased ear-lier. Mr Singh said DAL will pay back around Rs 2,000 crore in the current quarter and rest by the end of this calendar year.

DLF is also looking at raising Rs 2,000 crore by selling its “non-strategic” assets, which may include its wind power business and land parcels that may not generate revenue for the next ten years. The company has raised around Rs 1,000 crore of debt recently and plans to raise an additional Rs 2,000 crore of long term debt to retire its short-term debt.

Mr Singh also expect property prices to correct by another 15-20% in the next few months. “The new launches will see a price point, which will be 15-20% lower than the current prices,” Mr Singh said.

Source: Economic Times

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