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US firm picks 15% in Vipul for Rs 234 cr

Wachovia Corporation, one of the largest diversified financial institutions in the US, has picked up about 15 per cent stake in realty firm Vipul Ltd for Rs 234 crore and plans to invest up to one billion dollar (about Rs 4,100 crore) in Indian real estate market this year.

“WDC Ventures Ltd has subscribed to 14.95 per cent equity capital for Rs 233.92 crore under preferential allotment,” Vipul Ltd Managing Director Punit Beriwala said.

Wachovia has invested in Gurgaon-based Vipul Ltd through its company WDC Ventures Ltd. The promoter's share would come down to about 62 per cent after the stake sale. Vipul would deploy the funds in projects being developed by the company, besides setting aside some fund for acquiring properties, he added. Elaborating its India Plan, Wachovia Director-Real Estate Capital Markets Sandip Kundu said: “In 2007, we plan to deploy two billion dollars in Asian real estate market.” “In India opportunity is huge. We may end up putting over

50 per cent in India,” Kundu said. Funds were not a constraint and the company had enough money to invest in Indian real estate market, he added. Kundu said the company was in India for the last 11 months and this was its first investment in a listed company.

It had earlier invested money in 6-7 ventures, Kundu said but refused to divulge the amount and the name of the firms. Wachovia is the largest bank in South-East US with assets of 700 billion dollars and market value of over 100 billion dollars. It provides retail banking, brokerage, asset and wealth management, and corporate and investment banking products and services in the US.

Source : Economic Times

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