January 23, 2022

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Mumbai’s Darwin Platform Infra Ltd wins bid for Pune’s Lavasa city

Mumbai : Mumbai-based Darwin Platform Infrastructure Ltd (DPIL) has bagged the bid for Lavasa Corporation, India’s first privately-built smart city near the Lonavala hillstation in Pune, officials said.

The Committee of Creditors (CoC) of Lavasa Corporation voted and accepted a Rs 1,814 crore final Total Resolution Plan to revive the city.

Darwin Platform Group of Companies Group Chairman Ajay H. Singh said that his company has an ambitious and long-term plan for Lavasa smart city.

“DPCIL has capabilities and resources to meet the expectations of the CoC. We are committed to executing the Plan as per the schedule proposed to the CoC,” he said, lauding the CoC move expressing full confidence in the company.

Last month, the DPIL had submitted a revised bid on its Resolution Plan and this month the CoC initiated the process to finalise the deals submitted by various applicants, including DPIL.

CoC sources said that among other things, the DPIL has proposed payment plan and schedules that include upfront payment of around Rs 100 crore, payment to home buyers (RERA) within two years of receipt of EC, construction and delivery of homebuyers’ properties, redemption of the secured NCDs at the end of 108 months, and as these would incur a cost of Rs 1,466.50 crore, adding working capital, repairs/refurbishment and other works, the company had offered a total plan of Rs 1,184 crore for the project.

Vineet Tulsyan of R3 Corporate Advisors, which guided the Darwin Group for its winning bid, said after considering all the complexities and hurdles to the projects, they negotiated a well-balanced plan with the lenders.

“Homebuyers are the biggest sufferers here besides the secured financial creditors and we will understand their concerns and involve them in the revival process,” he said.

The first challenge before the new entity would be securing various environment clearances once the NCLT approves the revival plan, but the DPIL is confident of getting the same.

The Lavasa, work on which was started by Hindustan Construction Company Chairman Ajit Gulabchand in the early 2000s, was billed as India’s first privately developed hill station coming upon over 25,000 acres of land near Pune.

However, over the years it faced several environment-related issues, political problems and other hiccups and finally it went into insolvency before the NCLT in August 2018.

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