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Hunter beer maker joins realty play with Madhya Pradesh land buy

The Bhopal-based Som Distilleries and Breweries, manufacturer of the Hunter beer, has acquired a 50-acre prime plot in Gwalior for Rs 266 crore from the Madhya Pradesh government.

, TNN|
May 22, 2008, 12.00 AM IST
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MUMBAI: The Bhopal-based Som Distilleries and Breweries, manufacturer of the Hunter beer, has acquired a 50-acre prime plot in Gwalior for Rs 266 crore from the Madhya Pradesh government. The company will develop a retail mall, a theme mall and two hotels ��� a star hotel and a budget hotel ��� as well as residential apartments, in the property.

The project, called Thatipur Gandhi Road Project, is a 60:40 collaboration with Patel Engineering and marks the brewing company���s foray into realty business. Sompel, the company in charge of the project, is promoted by Som Distilleries.

���The project is expected to generate a valuation of Rs 2,500 crore in three years. This project will boost the growth of the company further,��� Som Distilleries��� chairman and managing director JR Arora said.

The project is part of the state government���s housing scheme for its employees, wherein the builder is required to construct a certain number of houses.

The cost of the project will be deducted from the amount to be paid to the government, on account of acquisition of the land on a 90-year lease. The project will cost around Rs 100 crore, and will be financed through internal accruals, financing from customers, institutional borrowings, etc, Mr Arora said.

The bid comes as a breakthrough for Som Distilleries, which has been looking for opportunities to diversify from the brewing and distilling business. The Rs 200-crore company, which introduced the concept of strong beer in India, has plans to venture into the South Indian beer market.

Though it controls 12% of the country���s premium beer market, the distribution has been limited to the North Indian market up till a few months ago. Now the company is planning to access brewing facilities through bottling contracts, acquisitions and greenfield projects in southern markets.
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