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Friday, Nov 17, 2006

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Vascon Engineers offloads 10 pc to FII

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Credit Suisse takes 75 per cent stake in its downtown Pune project

Room for growth
The company has signed up with Holiday Inn to set up a 200-room property in Western Pune and another five-star hotel in the eastern side of Pune for a similar-sized property.

Pune , Nov. 16

The Rs 450-crore Vascon Engineers Private Ltd, a large player in the real estate development business, has offloaded 10 per cent equity in the company to an FII for an undisclosed sum.

The company also announced here on Thursday that Credit Suisse has taken 75 per cent stake in a Rs 300-crore IT park-cum-five-star-hotel project in downtown Pune that it is commencing work on.

This is the second time the company has offloaded equity — Vascon placed 10 per cent stake with HDFC a few months ago for Rs 138 crore.

With the city now on the radar of global MNCs and the IT sector, the company is all set to tap the huge demand for hotel rooms and is in the process of setting up at least three hotels in the five-star category and one in the service apartment sector.

Mr R. Vasudevan, Chairperson, Vascon, told Business Line the company has signed up with Holiday Inn to set up a 200-room property in Western Pune and another five-star hotel in the eastern side of Pune for a similar-sized property.

Both these properties and the Hyatt hotel that is already under construction would be operational by mid-08, he said, adding that a 100-room hotel and 70-unit service apartment would be operational by January 07.

Nominated for award

Vascon, which has made a mark on the city's skyline with a number of shopping malls, residential projects and IT parks, is now aiming for international recognition with Nucleas Mall, its project in the city's main shopping district now nominated for the 30th International Design & Development awards being held at Phoenix, Arizona, end November. The project has been nominated in the `Innovative Design and Development of new project' category and is the only Indian entry to have reached the level, Mr Vasudevan said. The other finalists in this category are The MIXC at City Crossing, Shenzhen (China), North Hills Raleigh, North Carolina (US) and Whitefrars, Gravel Walk (UK).

The award is instituted by the ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centres), a global trade association of the shopping centre industry, with presence in the US and 80 other countries.

The awards are for two categories — Renovation or expansion of an existing project and Innovative Design and development of a new project with the latter category consisting of `Mixed-Use' projects comprising non-retail users, such as entertainment, office, hotel, residential, sports venues, etc.

Vascon has 11 million sq.ft. of development under progress in and around Pune and also has projects in Mumbai, Goa, Punjab, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh and other States.

The group is currently in the process of setting up a one million-sq.ft. Vascon - Weikfield IT Citi Park and Hyatt Hotel in Pune.

The first phase of the IT Park is operational and companies such as PTC, Suzlon and Nihilent, have already moved in.

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