Citi, Warburg Eye Stake In Indian Township

(Reuters) – Citigroup and Warburg Pincus are close to buying a 15 percent stake for 19 billion rupees ($440 million) in a township being built by an Indian developer, the Economic Times said, citing unidentified sources.

Ansal Properties & Infrastructure, which is building the project near the capital city of New Delhi, eventually plans to sell at least 40 percent equity in the 130 billion rupees township, the newspaper said.

“We are talking to private equity firms for projects. There are two or three deals in the advanced stages,” said Anil Kumar, Ansal’s deputy managing director, told Reuters but he declined to identify the firms. The project includes hotels, shopping malls, residential housing, offices and a golf course and is expected to be completed in eight years, the newspaper said.

“We are close to signing the deal with a PE player in two months,” the paper quoted Kunal Banerjee, president for marketing at Ansal Properties, as saying.

Top mortgage lender Housing Development Finance Corp. owns 8.5 percent in the township project.

($1=43.1 rupees)

(Reporting by Narayanan Somasundaram and C.J. Kuncheria; Editing by Ranjit Gangadharan)