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Kishore Biyani Settles Debt with Canara Bank by Selling Iconic SOBO Central Mall

Kishore Biyani, promoter of Future Group, settles dues with a consortium of lenders led by Canara Bank by selling Mumbai's historic SOBO Central Mall to realty giant K Raheja Corp.

Kishore Biyani Settles Debt with Canara Bank by Selling Iconic SOBO Central Mall

Kishore Biyani, the man behind the Future Group, has finally settled his dues with a group of lenders led by Canara Bank. The settlement comes after Biyani's company, Bansi Mall Management Company, which owns the iconic SOBO Central Mall in Mumbai, defaulted on a loan of Rs 571 crore. Biyani managed to clear the debt by offering a one-time settlement of Rs 476 crore, which translates to an 83% recovery for the creditors. This move was crucial for Biyani, who has been facing mounting financial challenges in recent years.


SOBO Central Mall: A Mumbai Landmark Changes Hands. The crown jewel in this deal is undoubtedly the SOBO Central Mall. Formerly known as Crossroads, this historic property holds the distinction of being Mumbai's first ever mall, opening its doors in the late 1990s. The mall has been a popular hangout spot for Mumbaikars for over two decades, but it has also faced its share of struggles.The COVID-19 pandemic 
 significantly impacted foot traffic at the mall. Additionally, the rise of newer retail developments in the city coupled with a large portion of the mall space being occupied by struggling Future Group companies further squeezed SOBO Central's viability.

 

 

K Raheja Corp Steps In: A New Chapter for SOBO Central. Stepping in to acquire the debt-ridden mall is K Raheja Corp, a prominent name in Indian real estate. The company, known for its high-quality developments, has purchased the SOBO Central Mall, which boasts a leasable area of nearly 150,000 square feet.This acquisition comes at a cost, with K Raheja Corp reportedly paying a hefty stamp duty of Rs 28.56 crore to register the deal.


The future of SOBO Central under K Raheja Corp's ownership remains to be seen. The mall currently houses just one major tenant, the iconic McDonald's outlet. Future Group's Financial Woes: A Broader Story. The SOBO Central Mall sale is just one piece of a larger puzzle for Kishore Biyani and the Future Group. The group, facing significant financial difficulties, has been under insolvency proceedings for the past year. Last year, Jindal (India), a part of the BC Jindal Group, emerged as the sole bidder for Future Enterprises Limited (FEL), another Future Group company. This move came after 


Biyani failed to secure any other viable offers for the debt-laden company.
Similarly, Future Retail, another group company, is undergoing the Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process (CIRP) due to loan defaults. The retail chain owes a staggering Rs 12,265 crore to its creditors, with prominent financial institutions like Centbank Financial Services, Axis Trustee Services, and Vistra ITCL (India) being owed significant sums.


The End of an Era for SOBO Central?    
The sale of SOBO Central Mall marks a significant development for Mumbai's retail landscape. The mall, which once held a prime position in the city's shopping scene, now finds itself under new ownership with an uncertain future. Whether K Raheja Corp can revitalize the mall and recapture its past glory remains to be seen. The company's expertise in real estate development suggests a potential for a revamp, but the challenges posed by a changing retail environment and the mall's current state cannot be ignored.


One thing is certain: the sale of SOBO Central signifies the end of an era for the iconic mall. The new chapter under K Raheja Corp's ownership promises to be interesting, with the potential to breathe new life into the aging property or rewrite its story entirely.
 


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