Leela Group to Issue 14.5 Percent Preferential Shares

New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) Luxury hotel chain company Leela Group Monday said it would issue preferential shares of about 14.5 percent to private equity firms in six to eight weeks.

"We will be issuing the preferential shares in about six-to-eight weeks time. We hope to raise about Rs.600 crore through this exercise," Vivek Nair, vice chairman and managing director of Hotel Leelaventures Limited, told reporters at an event to mark the opening of the company's new hotel in the national capital.

According to Nair, the funds generated from allotment of preferential shares would be utilised by the company in repayment of its existing debts which at present stand at Rs.3,800 crore.

"Apart from this exercise, we are also going to sell our business parks and land parcels which we have developed near our property in Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad," Nair said.

With the sale of equity and the build-up land area near the company's existing properties, Nair hopes to settle nearly Rs.1,900 crore of debt in the near future.

The company added it was in the process of developing new properties in Jaipur, Agra and Ashtamudi in Kerala.

"We are currently focused on developing our three new properties, and they are at various stages right now. Our Chennai hotel will open soon as well," he said.

Nair also spoke about the need for the government to provide the tourism industry long term financing options at par with infrastructure as the industry generates direct and indirect jobs for millions of people, and has a tremendous growth opportunity.

The luxury-hotel chain Monday inaugurated its seventh hotel in the national capital, which is located in the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri. The hotel which has come up on a three-acre land in the prime locality; the land- lone set the company back by Rs.700 crore.

Currently, the holding company of Leela Group operates seven luxury hotels in India with 1,600 rooms. This number is expected to rise to 2,200 rooms by the end of this year.


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Title: Leela Group to Issue 14.5 Percent Preferential Shares

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