HUL goes flat out to sell prime apartments | business | Hindustan Times
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HUL goes flat out to sell prime apartments

business Updated: Mar 30, 2009 20:26 IST
Lalatendu Mishra

Consumer goods giant Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) company has put some of its prime residential apartments in Mumbai’s famed Malabar Hill on the block, following the footsteps of other multinationals in cashing out on some of the world’s highest-priced areas amid a slump in real estate.

The flats to be sold off through competitive bidding could fetch more than Rs 4 crore each for the subsidiary of Anglo-Dutch Unilever, which is doing something Citibank and American Express Bank have done already.

According to industry officials five flats in the upscale Malabar Hill have been put up for sale by HUL, while its real estate consultant Cushman & Wakefield has advertised three flats on sale.

HUL has had a 75-year presence in India, during which it has acquired apartments bought to house its executives. Some have come in through merger and acquisition deals. “As part of normal business process we continuously review our assets including real estate and on a case-to-case basis we do sell idle property to unlock business value. This is an ongoing process,” said a spokesperson for HUL.

Two 1,000 sq ft carpet area flats are awaiting buyers for HUL in Malabar Hill, where flats are said to command Rs. 37,000 to 45,000 per square foot. Market-watchers say the buildings, though 40 years old, are in good demand.

“This market (Malabar Hill) is little more resilient than other places where prices have corrected due to the slowdown.
People are willing to pay a premium for added facilities and location of the building,” said Aditi Vijayakar, executive director at Cushman &Wakefield, which is conducting the deals.

(With inputs from Saurabh Turakhia)