India's UB Holdings in talks with Blackstone, KKR to sell office space-paper

Tue May 1, 2012 1:38am EDT

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May 1 (Reuters) - India's UB Holdings is in talks with private equity funds Blackstone and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts to sell some of its commercial real estate for 6.5 billion rupees ($123 million), the Times of India newspaper reported on Tuesday citing unnamed banking sources.

UB Holdings, controlled by flamboyant liquor baron Vijay Mallya, is part of the UB Group that owns majority of United Spirits and United Breweries, apart from debt-laden carrier Kingfisher Airlines, which is desperately looking for funds to continue operations.

The UB Tower in Bangalore, which Mallya is looking to sell, is occupied by companies like Apple, Citibank, and Yahoo, the report said. A UB Group spokesman, quoting Mallya, denied the company was in talks to sell the real estate space, the paper reported.

Prakash Mirpuri, a UB spokesman, told Reuters there was no plan to sell UB Towers. He, however, could not immediately confirm whether other real estate assets from UB Holdings were up for sale.

A Blackstone spokesman declined to comment, while KKR could not be immediately reached by Reuters on Tuesday, which is a local holiday in India.

UB Holdings and the private equity players are considering a sale-and-lease-back model, with UB having the right to buy the property back after a specified period, the report said.

For the newspaper story, please see:

link.reuters.com/ruw87s ($1 = 52.70 Indian rupees) (Reporting by Anurag Kotoky in NEW DELHI; editing by Malini Menon)