Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Sobha promoter in billionaire club

Sobha promoter in billionaire club
Kausik Datta / Mumbai December 21, 2006
P N C Menon, chairman of Sobha Developers, joined the billionaire club today, with the market value of his shares in his newly listed company touching Rs 6,135 crore.

Menon and his family hold 63.33 million shares, or 86.88 per cent stake in the company.

The stock today made a sparkling debut with a listing price of Rs 1,111.25 on the BSE — 74 per cent premium over the issue price of Rs 640. The stock reached the day’s high of Rs 1,179 and finally closed at Rs 968.75.

The 58-year old Menon, a commerce graduate, floated his real estate company 11 years ago in Bangalore with a paltry sum of Rs 7 crore. He began his professional career at the age of 24, by establishing an interior decoration firm in the Sultanate of Oman.

But his heart was always in India where he eventually returned and incorporated Sobha Developers, after his wife’s name.

Sobha Developer’s company’s maiden issue was 104 times subscribed. But Menon, it seems, wasn’t taking any chances A few days before the listing, he visited the Guruvayur Sri Krishna temple in Kerala and offered 70 kg of gold to the residing deity.

However, a close aide of Menon did not agree that Menon went to the temple because the listing was impending. “Menon has a home at Trichur which is only 10 kms away from Guruvayur. So whenever he visits Trichur, he goes to the temple,” he said.

His company has land reserves of 2,747 acres in Bangalore, Mysore, Pune, Chennai, Kochi, Thrissur and Coimbatore.

It has developed and constructed 21 residential projects in Bangalore covering 2.98 million sq ft, 75 contractual projects in eight Indian States covering about 8.42 million sq ft and two commercial projects aggregating 0.11 million sq ft.

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