India's biggest real estate developer DLF is considering a bid for a prominent shopping mall in New Delhi, with a starting auction price of $366 million, according to two sources and a public notice seen by Reuters.
The 1.2 million square feet Ambience Mall in the posh southern district of India's capital has been put up for auction as its current owner, the Ambience Group, has not paid debt of $149 million to Indiabulls Housing Finance and other creditors, according to a previously unreported public auction notice.
One source with direct knowledge said on Thursday that DLF will look at data related to the mall's occupancy status and contractual obligations and then consider whether to bid for it or not.
DLF didn't want to say anything. A director of Ambience Group, Aman Gehlot, didn't want to comment on the notice or auction process. The Ambience mall houses prominent brands like Swedish fashion retailer H&M and Uniqlo, owned by Japan's Fast Retailing. It is located right next to two other giant DLF malls on the same stretch, including one that houses luxury brands.
It's become a destination because of the other malls around it. The second source said it was a bouquet of brands, but they didn't want to be named.
The website of the Ambience Group states it has interest in residential and office real estate, as well as shopping malls and hotels.
The public notice stated that the mall will end on Sept. 5 and the reserve price was 29 billion and $366 million. It was not immediately clear when the auction began.
A Indiabulls executive who was involved in the auction process told Reuters two companies had expressed interest in the mall but didn't share their names.