The Lodha Group that emerged the highest bidder for the National Textile Corporation-run Finlay Mills at Parel on Thursday quoted a price less than the reserve price set by the NTC. While the reserve price is Rs 710 crore, the Lodha Group quoted a sum of Rs 657 crore.
The group may still acquire the 10.4-acre property as the NTC feels the price is good in view of current market conditions. “We may consider selling the property at less than the reserve price as we feel it is a good price,” said K. Ramchandra Pillai, chairman and managing director, NTC.
The assessment committee of the NTC will now examine the matter and take a decision.
There was only one other bidder at Thursday’s auction Indiabulls Real Estate – who quoted a sum of Rs 520 crore.
Abhisheck Lodha, director, Lodha Group, said Rs 710 crore was the right buying price. “We will construct a mix of residential and commercial complexes in the mill area,” he noted.
This is the third auction for Finlay in the last eight months. In the first, in December last year, Nine Paradise Hotel’s Private Ltd, a part of DB realty group, was the highest among four bidders. Its claim (at a price of Rs 405 crore) was however rejected as the reserve price was then fixed at Rs 1,065 crore.
For the second auction in March 2009, the reserve price was reduced by 30 per cent, to Rs 710 crore.
Only one bidder, the Tamil Nadu-based Christy Textile Products Private Ltd, had come forward then but the company was disqualified as it had come with earnest money of Rs 1 crore instead of the stipulated amount of Rs 100 crore.
Pillai said that after Finlay, the NTC would focus on selling of Kohinoor Mills 1 and 2 at Dadar.
The 2005 auction of the NTC-run Elphinstone Mills and Jupiter Mills had seen record rates of Rs 441 crore and Rs 276 crore respectively, and the 17-acre Mumbai Textile Mills had fetched Rs 702 crore.