MUMBAI: Reliance Infrastructure has said that it has sold Reliance Centre – the premises housing the group’s headquarters – to Yes Bank for Rs 1,200 crore.
“Entire proceeds from the sale of Reliance Centre, Santacruz, is utilized only to repay the debt of Yes Bank’, the company said in a statement to the exchange.
In July, the private lender had taken symbolic possession of the sprawling complex situated off the Western Express Highway and overlooking the Mumbai airport. The action was taken under the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act to recover dues of Rs 2,892 crore from Anil Ambani’s Reliance Infrastructure. In terms of the act, the bank has to give a two-month notice before taking possession, which the bank had done in May.
Speaking to TOI in October 2020 after the bank’s half-yearly results, Yes Bank MD & CEO Prashant Kumar had said the bank would like to monetise it but would consider moving its offices from its present headquarters at Lower Parel in Central Mumbai to Santa Cruz
While there is uncertainty over the future of commercial real estate given the shift to work from home, private equity investors are still bullish on office space.
Yes Bank currently operates out of the Indiabulls Finance Centre in Lower Parel where it leased the top six floors. According to news reports in 2011, the deal was struck at Rs 125 per sqft per month for 1.6 lakh sqft. However, since the reconstruction of the bank after its revival by investors led by SBI, the lender has been cutting costs. It has asked all offices to renegotiate rentals and has been rationalising branches and ATMs.
Reliance Group had shifted to the new headquarters in 2018. After its debt crisis, the group has shrunk its operations. Besides Reliance Infra other group companies including Reliance Capital and its subsidiaries were headquartered there. Most of the offices were consolidated in the north wing and part of the property was listed for lease. The lockdown due to the pandemic resulted in further consolidation of office space as staff were asked to work from home.