Hotel Leelaventure to sell 5% stake

NEW DELHI Hotel Leelaventure Ltd. anticipates selling about 5% of the company within the next two months, reducing its founders’ stake to 50%.

The share transaction with an unidentified private equity firm would raise about 6 billion rupees (US$135 million) that would be used to reduce Leelaventure’s debt, which currently hovers around 38 billion rupees.

The company’s goal is to halve its debt in the near term. Besides the share sale, Leelaventure also plans to raise about 2.5 billion rupees by selling land in Chennai and another 9.5 billion rupees by developing high-end apartments in Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad.

Leelaventure Vice Chairman Vivek Nair made the disclosures in a Monday press conference.

Leelaventure operates seven luxury hotels under the Leela Palace and Leela Kempinski brands in India. Leelaventure has also taken loans to develop hotels in Udaipur, New Delhi and Chennai.