Industrial gases producer, Linde India, formerly called British Oxygen is selling off its 11-acre land at Tarapur in Thane, the site for one of its oldest manufacturing plants in India, and will utilise its existing plant in Taloja for the same.
Linde's 95-year lease on the land, has 68 years of residual lease and is expected to fetch the company Rs 44 crore at existing rate of Rs 4 crore per acre, sources familiar with the transaction said.
The land, situated in the Tarapur Industrial Area of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corp, has evoked buying interests from chemical and drug manufacturers having business interests in the western regions of the country.
"We have began the sale process and hope to close the deal by end of April," Linde's chief financial officer, Milan Sadhukhan, told dna confirming the development.
Sadhukhan refused to comment on the probable price.
"The realistic price Linde can fetch is about Rs 4 crore an acre, although we are aware that some sellers in the industrial belt have been asking anywhere between Rs 5-6 crore for an acre," an executive of property dealer, Jones Lang LaSalle said requesting anonymity.
Linde's explanation for selling off the land it has been in possession since 1987 has been more due to non-utilisation of the plant ever since it disposed off its obsolete equipments.
"The Tarapore site used to house one of our oldest facilities and we had disposed off all outdated plants and equipment there last year. Only a vacant piece of land is currently there. We don't have any use of it as the markets in the western region which were being serviced by the Tarapore plant is now being catered to by our relatively new plant at Taloja," Sadhukhan said.
The sale of the Tarapore land is being done through an auction process managed by Mjunction Services Ltd, a kolkata-based joint venture of Tata Steel and SAIL Ltd.
Linde is a listed company on the BSE as well as NSE and currently trades slightly above Rs 310.
The company, then British Oxygen, started operations in India way back in 1935. With technology in manufacturing gases for industrial and medical uses undergoing several changes, it started closing down obsolete plants starting off with the Asansol unit in West Bengal which it disposed off in 1998 followed by another plant at Ghatkopar in Maharashtra the following year.